Are you bored with apps? Some of the biggest apps around are seeing downloads plummet

Are you bored with apps? Some of the biggest apps around are seeing downloads plummet
Remember when you got your first smartphone? How many hours did you spend browsing your platform's app store, downloading every interesting software title that crossed your screen? But in the years since, have you noticed that your interest in apps has begun to wane? Maybe you haven't re-downloaded Angry Birds the last few times you moved to a new phone, or just spend less time checking out newly published apps. But for some reason, there seems to be a widespread trend where growth is seriously slowing down – and in many cases, declining – for all but the very most popular apps.

For big players like Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram, Spotify, and Twitter, app downloads are way down from last year's figures. Some of those dips are are pushing upwards of 20 percent declines, representing millions of fewer downloads downloads each month.

Internationally the situation's not particularly dire, and a good number of these apps are close to holding level, or even showing small growth. But there are definitely signs of a slowdown, especially among the big three of Facebook, Whatsapp, and Messenger – all three are seeing download figures tank.

In the US, however, things are quickly going from bad to worse, with nearly all the biggest apps seeing major growth fallout.

“Nearly,” we say, because there are two big exceptions to this trend: Snapchat and Uber.

Both relatively new and with their stars still on the rise, they're the only two big apps capturing major growth, both in the US and aboard.

Is this going to be the trend going forward? That we only have the attention to focus on the latest couple red-hot apps, and we quickly find ourselves growing bored with what we were far more into just a year or two ago?

It remains to be seen what, if anything, app developers can do to reverse this trend. Will new features help restore growth, or only slow the inevitable decline? Have apps just lost their magic in general? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments.


source: Re/code, SensorTower

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24 Comments

1. BLUEBLASTER

Posts: 926; Member since: Feb 23, 2014

If we have whatsapp and facebook once why do we need to download them again?

7. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Well that's the other thing, new phone sales are going down too and another is that Facebook is now bundled with a lot of phones like all of Samsung ones.

9. nghtwng68

Posts: 108; Member since: Nov 26, 2009

So true about smart phone sales are down and apps are not really enticing people as they did five years ago. Plus, with major apps being bundled on smartphones out the box, no need to download major apps. Plus, lots of apps mean lots of random updates and battery drain on your phone. Just give us what's standard on the phone so I can be productive in my daily lifestyle.

19. AlikMalix unregistered

FF, good observation... +1

2. IAMBLCKJ3ZUS

Posts: 403; Member since: Sep 29, 2015

Windows 10 mobile is where the developers gain money but hey they ignore us when there more than 300 million windows 10 users. You want money join us and we gladly flock to your app like zombies to brains.

3. Barney_stinson

Posts: 672; Member since: May 30, 2016

Develope for window10 , before sum1 else will!!! Coz there are enought users to make money and to be safe from app saturation!

17. Pitrich

Posts: 239; Member since: Apr 13, 2016

I've owned nothing but Androids but want desperately to see another player in the game like windows take off. The 2 major ones are getting boring I need a change in my life. Don't happen though until there's more app support

18. Pitrich

Posts: 239; Member since: Apr 13, 2016

I've owned nothing but Androids but want desperately to see another player in the game like windows take off. The 2 major ones are getting boring I need a change in my life. Don't happen though until there's more app support

24. An.Awesome.Guy

Posts: 636; Member since: Jan 12, 2015

If I was a developer then I wouldn't try to make an app for Windows 10 because it will cost a lot ,instead I will prefer trying to make the app less buggy or improve it in another way until Windows 10 mobile will start using iOS apps and then I would just upload the app there .

4. PhoneCritic

Posts: 1354; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

everyone who wants a phone owns one including our children and we even have spare smartphones ( good quality mid-rangers) in case our daily drivers suffer damage or break and all of them have the same apps downloaded already. So, now who's left ( in the USA) to download apps? This is a natural consequence of market saturation and the issue will probably be exasperated when google release the tool that make it possible to only fetch the specific part of an app you need to carry out a specific action.

5. Martineverest

Posts: 521; Member since: Oct 27, 2015

I guess gears will switch to windows 10 as escape route for developers

6. PhoneCritic

Posts: 1354; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

Not really. If that tool is release and developers update their apps with it then even the windows 10 app downloads will drop off even further.

11. AlikMalix unregistered

I read an article that windoes is an open field full of potential for app devs. I'm really hoping this catches on. Consumers need windows mobile (a third platform) as much as Windows mobile needs consumers. Hope you're right martin

8. ThePython

Posts: 902; Member since: May 08, 2013

Facebook deserves to see drops seeing it's one of the worst apps in existence.

14. EyeSea

Posts: 43; Member since: Jun 04, 2016

Battery hog.

21. techguyone

Posts: 214; Member since: May 18, 2013

Facebook Lite solves all problems :)

10. darealist

Posts: 107; Member since: Feb 25, 2015

Apps are just awful. The quantity jumped by a lot since 2011, but the quality remains the same. The same crap quality games, crappy website apps that makes no sense to download in the first place, and the extremely dumbed down "productivity" apps that doesn't hold a candle to their desktop counterparts. It's not surprising Microsoft gave up trying to port those said crappy apps to their Windows Mobile platform. It's that bad!

13. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

EXACTLY!!!!!!!

20. AlikMalix unregistered

I have to disagree... I have plently of apps that take advantage of new features like forcetouch, and FP sensors, including better graphics and remote features. You can notice how devs redesign apps to take advantage of new hardware and features right around the release of new iPhones. I can also attest that Games have really jumped a few steps in quality and intertainment value.. Look at Afterpulse, RR3, Mekorama to start off. Afterpulse just added a custom battle feature to set up custom play, password protected, so that you're not randomly set up with someone across the world, but you can just play privately with just your friends.. The only thing affecting 3rd party devs, is the fact that phone manufacturers like Samsung, Apple and Google are buying up useful apps and redesigning them as native feature or directly make it part of OS, or adding features to native apps that make it easier to do something vs having a separate app that you needed before. For example, I dont facebook, but if I want to share a video, I post it to facebook via sharing extensions in iOS - I do NOT need to have facebook app installed!!! And I always prefer the desktop webpages to the mobile app or mobile version of the page - so (for same scenario) - i'd just visit the facebook page using a browser rather than have an app installed. my preferences arent the same as everybody, but I'm sure there are quite a few that find native built-in features superior to third party apps...

12. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Yes. They are boring limited and repetitive. I can't even think of the last time I actually downloaded a new app. Oh wait, now I remember. It was Bejeweled Stars, which was garbage.. The problem with most of those in the list, there are better alternative. For email I stopped using gmail and the builtin email client. I just use Outlook. All those messenger apps? Can be solved mostly by using Trillian. If you have Netflix or Hulu, you dont need both. whatsapp is just useless to me.

15. jeroome86

Posts: 2314; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

Use my bank app to pay bills. Hundred times better then booting up the desktop and waiting on virus scans. Few gaming apps I use. Facebook and Twitter but these suck. Use the YouTube app quite frequently. Whatsapp the best messaging out for staying in touch with friends in other countries. iMessage for everything else.

23. AlikMalix unregistered

man, +1000 regarding the banking app. It's literally the only banking I do now (except for depositing cash - I have to go to the ATM or Bank for that). I'll be on PC doing some accounting, and I will go find my phone just to access online banking, because I could not be bothered to type in my password ever again - Touch ID since 2013, baby!

16. Leo_MC

Posts: 7216; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

The article is not taking about new downloads but rather about ALL the downloads (redownloads) and that's true: people are buying less phones, their apps are in their places on the old phones so they don't need to download them again; phones break less often (I can't remember when I have done the last reset on my iPhones; heck, I don't remember when I last rebooted them...); some of you said apps come bundled with some phones. If we would have numbers about how many users have installed each app and the trend in using them, we could be having some better view of the global situation. Btw, this article shows us that Android sales are also going down, so maybe we should be a bit reserved about Apple's sale "problems".

22. techguyone

Posts: 214; Member since: May 18, 2013

The rankings are not significantly changing, it may just be another indicator of the smartphone market saturation, you'll probably find the phone sales are also slowing by the same %

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