Its been five years, since bespectacled Steve Jobs launched iPhone. A device which triggered the evolution of mobile ecosystem. Today, more than billion consumers across the world are glued to those devices and their applications. There are applications for almost every aspect of human lives. Growth has been such that there are apps for finding apps.
Usage has not stopped with mere installation, average user spends nearly 90 minutes in the device. Thats huge numbers right?. developers could be millionaries if customer just spends 10 minutes daily in their application. Metrics from Flurry.com, smartinsights.com and venturebeat.com suggests that more than 60 percent of time is being spent on Social Media & games. Very minimal time (6% to be exact) is being spent on applications which are related to Productivity, Lifestyle, Health & Fitness & News. Growth in the application consumption has happened predominantly in couple of categories like Gaming, Social Media & Entertainment.
If you are starting up in space of News, Productivity & Stuff, its going to be a tough task for making people spend time in our applications. Even then you are going to fight against social media biggies for user's mind share. Unless its game, user are not going to stop switching to Facebook while using our application. Key challenge remains the same, how do i make my customer to use my application for a longer duration?. The application has to be developed by keeping this as key design goal.
For mobile startups, it presents interesting challenge. Its gives an opportunity, A user is introduced to 70 percentage of newer applications every year. Mine could be just of one of it. And if you can generate enough marketing buzz around the application, there is good chance of initial trials by thousands of users. But to occupy their mind share on day to day basis and to stay installed in the device even after a year it is going to be very tough. Thats what makes today mobile application ecosystem even more interesting.
Newer updates, continuous improvements, addressing day to day problems of the user, tapping unmet needs are the key to ramp up user base and retaining them.