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

Ukraine President Appeals for More US Support

Speaking before Congress ahead of meeting with President Obama, Petro Poroshenko urges lawmakers to back Ukraine in its quest for freedom and democracy More

Photogallery Global Audience Watches as Scots Go to Polls

People were almost equally divided over a vote for independence, watched closely by Britain's allies, investors and restive regions at home and abroad More

China to Invest $20B in India Amid Border Dispute

Border spat between armies of two countries in Himalayas underlines mutual tensions despite growing commercial ties highlighted by Xi Jinping's high-profile visit 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.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid