It seems like everyone has a great idea to create an app for this or that. Looks like the market just keeps growing, there's a spot for everyone. But is it really so?
With (in)famous apps like Uber, Netflix or Instagram, more and more entrepreneurs are trying to leave their mark (and get filthy rich in the process)
So, let's take a closer look into the world of mobile apps. What's the situation really like? No better place to find that out than look into relevant data.
Back in 2008, Mary Meeker famously announced how popular mobile would get. Her detailed report of technology trends for that year states: "Mobile to overtake fixed Internet access by 2014"
And she was completely right. This comScore report from 2015 contains the exact statistics - number of mobile users surpassed desktop users in 2014.
In 2017, we can see that App store has almost 2 million apps and there are over 2.2 million apps on Google play.
With over 268 billion mobile downloads, it is predicted an income of $77 billion will be generated this year. Quite a market.
Mobile trends in 2017
Once again, let's turn to Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers. Every year, we get the chance to see a huge and rather detailed report, assembled based on the big data. It explains exactly what's going and what we can expect in the near future. While it might not be a 100% accurate guide for investors, it can definitely provide great insight for anyone who is in the online business.
The first trend mentioned in the report is that the number of users is constantly growing. At the same time, smartphone expansion is coming to a halt. With over 3.4 billion global internet users, you can say the world is very much connected. But, we are no longer enchanted by smartphones. It could be due to a high number of other gadgets that are replacing important smartphone functions.
In 2016, android was still dominating iOS with over 80% market share.
American adults are spending most of their time on digital media through mobile platforms. 52% of time they spend on their mobile devices includes using apps.
Advertising trends to look out for
Of course, this expansion brings a significant change in the money flow. Advertisers are taking their budgets to social media and online channels rather than TV or billboards. With the growth of ads, adblocking is becoming more and more popular. And that is especially visible on mobile.
This does not mean you should take your ads elsewhere. It means you should make your content valuable and your messages on point. That way, users won't have the need to block you.
The future of search
Ben Silbermann, the founder and CEO of Pinterest says: "A lot of the future of search is going to be about pictures instead of keywords"
That prediction is something to remember (and use) since it comes from the guy who founded one of the best search engine platforms. Everybody knows Pinterest is constantly improving their algorithm, making it more advanced with every update. The prediction of pictures beating keywords also makes sense if we look at the trends in the past few years. Marketing is all about the visual. Make it visually appealing and clear for the viewer and you're already slaying. It seems like people don't have time to read anymore so you need to make sure you're attracting their attention with visual elements.
But, it's not about the visual only. Search is moving to voice. Platforms like Google Assistant are enabling users to search without typing. 20% of mobile queries are made via voice. This results in the search phrases becoming more and more natural since we're using our conversational language. That's another thing that's transforming keywords as we know them. It's a habit that consumers are developing and we need to change the way we're formulating our pitches.
Apps are becoming gamified
If you're thinking about making a popular app, you'd better think gamification. This trend is influencing multiple consumer services. People like the experience a game provides. They want the possibility to be rewarded for their acheivements and feel like they're constantly advancing. Moreover, they want to have fun doing it.
That's what Bumble did with dating, Duolingo with language learning, and Starbucks in the food industry.
So, instead of making a boring app, you should focus on the gaming mentality and find the hooks they use to keep people interested and engaged.
Digital subscription model
As user experience is getting better, digital subscription is growing.
If you want to deconstruct the success of this model, you don't have to go far. Just take a look at Spotify or Netflix. They've both experienced rapid growth lately mostly due to on-demand content, personalization and complete mobile-friendliness.
With the rise of apps, a very important thing to keep in mind is security. The users are trusting their private data with apps and expect them to be secure in return. So, if you're going to build an app, make sure security measures are in its very base.
The data was curated from the 2017 Internet Trends report