According to mobile analytics firm Flurry, overall mobile app usage grew 11% year-over-year, with the time spent on mobile business and finance apps growing 43%. Gaming apps, meanwhile, experienced a decline in usage—strange for the year that spawned the goliath Pokémon Go—with time-spent down by 4%.
According to the data, the main reason consumers pull out their phones is still to interact with other humans—gasp—with social and messaging apps experiencing a nearly 400% increase (394%) in time spent. However, apps for personal finance and apps for mobile shopping continued to experience a respectable amount of growth.
Additionally, the world of mobile retail is booming, with familiar e-commerce names (cough, Amazon, cough) still raking in the sales.
From the report:
Shopping apps grew 31% in time-spent… This growth significantly benefited from mobile and its apps, which, unlike the desktop, have captured impulse buys.
Currently, the firm tracks 2.1 billion devices for mobile data; though Flurry did continue to see growth this year, this is the first time since the firm began tracking activity eight years ago, that the growth wasn’t uniform—the first year, to use Flurry’s own words, that “mobile apps started eating their own, with session and time-spent growth in some categories growing at the expense of others.”
Says Flurry, this is because “sticky apps” are tied to things users do every day—hence, you know, social—meaning the rate consumers use finance apps will continue to rise so long as more financial activities are integrated into mobile.
So far in 2017, personal finance apps seem like they’re on a steady pace towards this goal, with newcomers like Clarity Money steadily gaining ground—the personal finance app launched in the first week of January and has been downloaded over 40,000 times at the time of this reporting.
Apps like Stash—a micro-investing app—and mobile wallets like PayPal, or P2P money transfer apps like Venmo, continue to be popular with consumers (all of these apps are on the top finance app charts for both Apple and Android, according to App Annie).
In any case, using our phones less to play Candy Crush—for example—and more for our financial health seems like a victory to be celebrated.
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