In 2015 overall app usage grew by 58%. In this context, we define app usage as a user opening an app and recording what we call a “session.” With the exception of Games, every app category posted year-over-year growth with Personalization, News & Magazines and Productivity leading the way with triple-digit growth.
What was even more impressive is the majority of that growth rate came from existing users versus new users. In fact, in 2015, we estimate that 40% of the 58% total growth in sessions came from existing users, compared to 20% in 2014 and 10% in 2013. This jives well with the report we released last summer, showing a fast increase in mobile addicts.
Some interesting figures here from Flurry.
I'm dubious of this Personalization category they've created. To me, apps that "range from Android lock-screens to Emoji keyboards" seem a little too broad. There's no doubting what Khalaf posits here that the growth coming out of "Emoji apps" is a result of a user desire for customization, but what's the longevity of the category, really?
Remember that most "Emoji apps" aren't using emoji at all. They're stickers. Stickers that, for the most part, can't readily be shared in their favorite messenger apps as Kahlaf implies. Try adding anything custom to Snapchat in a meaningful way (you can't) or tweeting a sticker in a way that doesn't look clunky, awkward and out of place.
I'll concede that personalization's a persistent theme, but here Flurry's combination of messaging and a few admittedly trendy, quick-hit categories like custom keyboards feels a little hyperbolic. A feeling that continues:
Once labeled a fad (even by us), Phablets have become the unstoppable media consumption device.
We say “unstoppable” because if the current trends hold, the phablet will become the dominant form factor by October of next year. Also interesting to note is that small phones will be extinct by the second quarter of 2016. It’s clear consumers want their content, and they want it on a bigger screen.
In 2016, we need to agree that terms like "mobile addicts" and "phablets" are a bit out of touch in a marketplace where device size is increasingly a spectrum rather than a matrix.