Too Many Apps for That: App Fatigue


10 years have passed since Apple granted the trademark of “There is an app for that” in 2009. 

“… If you wanna check snow conditions on the mountain, there is an app for that. If you wanna check how many calories were in your lunch, there is an app for that. And if you wanna check where exactly you parked the car, there is even an app for that. Yeap, there is an app for just about anything… 

Remember? Well, maybe, nowadays, there are too many apps for that, and also, maybe, there is already an app for that. As of the first quarter of 2020, the App Store and Google Play have over 4 million apps combined. This abundance leads users to suffer from “app fatigue”. Users are tired of the growing amount of mobile apps, but it is not actually that there are fewer downloads than before. Users are just becoming more selective about which apps they keep installed and in use. 

Source: Statista, Number of apps in leading app stores

If a user chooses to download your app among a copious number of competitors, congratulations! Now, let’s think about it from your users’ point of view: You have just downloaded another app to use your phone’s memory and possibly become a burden to your phone. Or you have just downloaded an app to bring strong value to your life which is worth sparing the memory. 

On average, an app is deleted in 5.8 days after they’re last used. If you have an entertainment app, worse news since the number decreases to less than a day (0.5 days), for this category. Yet, if your app is still installed, this doesn’t mean that it is heavily and extensively used. However, acquiring your user’s time is yet another hurdle. One study shows that in the US, users spend around 80% of their overall app usage on their top 3 apps and 96% on their top 10 apps.


Considering this fact, how do you think your app would fare. Does your app actually solve a problem your users’ might have? If yes, how does it do so compared to other apps that aim to solve similar problems? Do users feel better off after using your app? For example, are they more productive, happier, relaxed, or healthier? Are they enjoying their time spent in your app? Or are they annoyed by the number of notifications they are getting? There are many questions you should ask yourself to avoid app fatigue. 

How to Avoid App Fatigue as a Publisher

What problem does your app solve in users’ life?

Your app should be vital to your users and give them a solid reason why they are using your app. Whether their aim is keeping up with the news around the world, connecting to their friends, listening to music, or buying houses. Listen to your intended users and figure out what they are expecting from your app. 

How are you different from other apps? 

Apart from delivering what your app promises to the users, it is also crucial how you are delivering it to them. Some important reasons people delete apps are because they need space on their phones. In addition, perhaps the app is draining their battery. Other issues with app performance might be related to CPU power usage, data caching, and crashes or freezes.

Source: Medium

Delivering a seamless app experience also relies on not only technical performance but also simplicity and ease of use. Minimizing the complexity of registration, onboarding, and usage of the app improves the user experience. Asking for too much information and forcing users to social login in the registration process pushes users to uninstall your app. 

Source: Shopify, an example of long and dense onboarding

Obscure and long onboarding sessions cause users to slip away. Although using innovative technology and industry trends is essential for your app, getting users to learn the features, and how to use the app might be trickier than you think. You can create your app with elements and features familiar to users to improve the onboarding process. Keeping the balance of familiarity and newness is important to keep users. One of the best examples of these formats is stories. You can use stories to save time in educating users and also to educate people during the onboarding stage.

Apps will continue to be around, however, app fatigue is pushing apps to add more value and improve user experience. By putting your user center and understanding what they are looking for, you can combat app fatigue. 

At Storyly, we believe that stories are an impressive way to bring a fresh perspective into your app to avoid app fatigue by eliminating complexity. Check how you can dive into the world of stories to increase the value of your app with Storyly


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