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Social media apps stand the test of time

The average person in the UK uses a smartphone app within 32 minutes of waking up and will access apps on average eight times per day, new research carried out by Carphone Warehouse has revealed.

Through independent research and a survey of 1,000 UK adults, Carphone Warehouse has uncovered how apps have revolutionised phones from simple communication devices to a hub for organising our lives from the palm of our hands.

Among the findings of the study are how our apps are supporting all aspects of our life, from friendships and relationships, to our money, health and wellbeing.

More than a quarter of us (29%) check restaurant or hotel reviews before going out, 45% of us are using apps to manage money efficiently and one in ten of us (10%) even use apps to help with monitoring medical conditions.

In the morning, one in five people in the UK (22%) access Facebook before any other app on their phone. In comparison, only one in ten people (10%) get their morning updates from news apps such as BBC News, which suggests that more people are using Facebook as their source for news updates rather than traditional outlets. A further one in ten (10%) people start their day by looking at weather apps.

The research also revealed significant differences in how different generations use apps within their everyday lives.

Smartphones are primarily an entertainment device for younger users, with the most common activities of an 18 to 24-year-old including listening to music (71%), ordering a takeaway (54%) and watching TV and films (52%).

In comparison, those aged 55 to 64 are more practical with their app usage, with common uses for apps including reading the news (74%), checking the weather (69%) and managing money (40%).

Looking at the gender split, men were found to be bigger risk-takers and are almost three times as likely to bet or gamble using an app (29%) compared to women (11%). On the other hand, women are using their phones to stay fit and are almost twice as likely to monitor their diet through an app at 19% compared to just one in ten men (10%).

However, not all of our apps become integrated into our daily routine. Despite being launched with initial hype, there are some apps which fail to have a long-standing significance in our lives. 

Top 5 app downloads

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

Snapchat

Trivia Crack

Facebook Messenger

Youtube

Youtube

Angry Birds

Messenger

Messenger

Snapchat

Temple Run

Instagram

Facebook

Pokemon Go

Dubsmash

Youtube

Vine

Draw Something

Skype

Instagram

Instagram

Facebook

Google Maps

Flashlight

Angry Birds Rio

Facebook

Snapchat

Instagram

Snapchat

Facebook

Google Maps

Looking at Google trends data shows search terms for game apps are extremely volatile. Pokemon Go was the biggest game of last year and took a place on the podium as third for downloaded apps in 2016, but a 97% decrease in search terms for the app has been seen in 2017.

Angry Birds was extremely popular in 2011, but lasted no longer than a year in the top five. Similarly, games that allow users to interact with other app users have proven popular, with Draw Something taking third place in 2012 and Trivia crack taking the top spot in 2015, yet neither stayed in the top spot for more than a year.

In contrast, apps like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube remain popular year after year despite not experiencing the same buzz.

An expert at Carphone Warehouse, said: “The proliferation of apps has completely transformed our relationships with our phones and this research demonstrates how we are happy to rely on apps to help us manage so much of our personal lives.

“The results clearly show that social networks are here to stay, having the slowest growth but the greatest longevity. Gaming apps however have huge virility in their year of release and then dramatically decline, the perfect example being Pokemon Go.

“It’s safe to say our phones have become an integral part of our daily routine; from our alarm in the morning to catching up with loved ones to our downtime in the evenings, we really couldn’t live without our devices.”

For more information on how apps are used in Britain today, visit: http://lowdown.carphonewarehouse.com/feature/the-most-popular-apps-of-our-time/38895/  

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