Have you ever heard the panic in someone’s voice who has misplaced their smartphone? It’s as if they had lost an appendage. And for all intents and purposes, that’s sort of the case.
Today’s smartphone users carry their mobile devices everywhere and they use them for nearly everything — playing games, banking, shopping, searching and enjoying entertainment — which has bestowed mobile applications with an increasingly important and intimate role in consumer lives. So much so that the current demand for the latest and greatest apps is already outstripping the available development capacity. But for both developers and advertisers to keep up with the growing demand in a strategic way, it’s crucial to understand consumer behavior when it comes down to app use.
Opera’s recent Intelligent Audience Creation report shed light on some of the differences in how mobile consumers use apps over the course of a week and also during a typical 24-hour time period. Now, we are revealing an even more in-depth look at how consumers use their mobile apps, by identifying the most common first “app of the day,” or the first app users access when they wake up in the morning, and the last app of the day, which would be the last app accessed.
Based on our analysis of our audience in the United States, the first app consumers are using when they wake up is in the social networking category. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest. And the most common last app of the day? Entertainment. Imagine falling asleep watching YouTube, streaming Hulu or HBO GO.
We also found that most users tend to have a variety of “first” and “last” apps over the course of a month, so decided to assign a “loyalty” score to each app based on how frequently a user returned to that application category for their first or last app choice. The results weeded out all but four application categories — News & Information, Entertainment, Games and Social Media — which vie against each other for the top spot as either first or last app. Each only slightly changed its position between the morning and evening periods.
As for the app most likely to have users return on a regular basis? That was News & Information, the category with the most consistent first and last app of the day usage across the entire month. It also had the smallest relative change in its audience size between morning and evening.
And lastly, though it never topped the list as either a first or last app, the Sports category stood out as the only category where the morning audience was larger than the evening audience.
Of course, each of these applications use very different types of ad formats to generate revenue. Social media apps typically display simple banner ads, many of which come from a wide range of ad networks. Entertainment apps tend to focus on premium banner ads from top brand advertisers and rich media campaigns. And gaming apps, which generate the highest relative eCPM, have a strong tendency towards performance campaigns, most of which are video. In fact, nearly 50% of all ads shown through Gaming apps implement video capabilities. This provides a unique way of skirting issues like banner blindness and visibility, which are challenges standard digital advertising faces. And helps marketers find a scalable way to think out of the box, as they can deliver innovative digital ads that offer players rewards, value-exchange video advertising, rich media creative and branded content.
Mobile apps are custom-made to deliver rich advertising and media experiences. And as mobile internet continues to spread across the world and apps continue to be responsible for the majority share of traffic and revenue generation, developers and advertisers are going to continue to find some of their biggest and best opportunities yet.
Latest posts by Falguni Bhuta (see all)
- Mobile apps capture consumer attention 37 minutes a day – up 20% from the beginning of 2016 - November 21, 2016
- Opera Mediaworks delivers its 4th consecutive $100M quarter Company shows 30% YTD growth fueled by Video, Performance & Programmatic - November 10, 2016
- Top takeaways for mobile marketers from the Fall Apple event - September 9, 2016