News / Science & Technology

When It Comes to Apps, Consumers Have Shorter Attention Spans

Google apps are shown on an Apple iphone 5 in this photo illustration in Encinitas, California, April 16, 2013.
Google apps are shown on an Apple iphone 5 in this photo illustration in Encinitas, California, April 16, 2013.
Reuters
Consumers are using apps for shorter bursts of time and opting to “snack” on content more frequently, according to newly released data.

A record 70 billion smartphone and tablet apps are expected to be downloaded globally this year, according to market research firm ABI Research. But consumers' attention spans for apps are dropping.

“People are spending overall a fairly decent amount of time in the app, but it's small intervals of time repeated more frequently,” said Raj Aggarwal, chief executive of Boston-based web analytics company Localytics, which conducted the study.

The study looked at how consumers used over 500 news apps across 100 million iPhone, Android and Windows smartphones between July 2012 and July 2013.

It found that consumers spent on average 26 percent less time interacting with the apps during each session, but that they opened the apps 39 percent more often, for an average 25 times a month, up sharply from 18 times the previous year.

“The whole goal of mobile is to get people the information they need as quickly as possible,” said Aggarwal, who said shorter, more frequent sessions with apps were a sign of their increasing integration into consumers' daily lives.

“They're more engaged with the device, and not just using it as a way to kill time,” he said.

Apps are also leveraging context - such as a user's location, or the current weather in their area - to pull users back into the app more frequently with information that is relevant to where they are and what they are doing.

“The weather apps might proactively message people and say, 'Hey, there's a storm coming' or 'Today's going to be really hot day' as a way to bringing people back in,” Aggarwal explained.

He said consumers were similarly using social media apps for shorter bursts of time but much more frequently.

“Social networking apps have continued to grow rapidly in terms of the total amount of time people spend with them, but the average session is actually pretty small. But when you look at the amount of time people open these apps over the course of a month it's huge,” he added.

“It's close to 45 times a month, so people are coming back to them multiple times per day.”

Accordingly, apps are limiting content that people can post, to keep it brief and palatable for consumers.

Vine, for iPhone and Android, allows users to share videos as long as they are shorter than six seconds. And in June, Instagram updated their app to allow users to share videos, but only if they are shorter than 15 seconds.

The one area where average session length grew longer was games. According to the data, games captured consumer attention for 78 percent more time, increasing to 8.7 minutes per session in 2013 from 4.9 minutes for each one the previous year.

You May Like

In China, Mixed Signals on Ebola Controls

How authorities are monitoring at-risk individuals remains unclear, including whether there are quarantines for Chinese health workers returning from West Africa More

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Electionsi
X
October 31, 2014 4:10 AM
Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid