Apps may dominate time spent on mobile devices, but an intensifying engagement crisis is putting the ecosystem at risk. Eighty-five percent of the users’ time is spent with just five apps, according to comScore. And four out of five of the average app’s users stop using it after just one month, per Localytics. To combat these trends, Google is seeking ways to bring app-like experiences to the mobile web, where search ads provide most of its revenue. And Facebook is adding games and other mini apps to its Messenger chat app to keep its huge user base hooked. These giants’ strategies may presage the end of traditional apps’ mobile dominance, and that presents a unique challenge for Apple, the biggest app player of all.
With $28 billion in App Store revenue in 2016, Apple stands to lose the most if its rivals’ strategies for a post-app world gain traction. There could be profound implications for publishers and brands that have tailored their mobile strategies around slick apps for affluent iPhone users, as well. Below, BI Intelligence takes a closer look at what the potential end of apps could mean for Apple.
Chat apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are grabbing more and more of smartphone users’ attention, eating into time spent on both social media platforms and native SMS apps. Their ascendancy was likely one of the drivers behind Apple’s decision to open iMessage, the native iOS messaging app, to developers, allowing them to build stickers and stripped down app experiences that could be launched and used within the chat app interface.
Here’s an example of how it works: If two iMessage users are discussing going to see a movie, they can open the Fandango iMessage app which tells them what's showing at which theater. They can then purchase the tickets through the [...]