Mobile applications have been the most prominent trend since 2010. Various companies and institutions create their own apps to meet the needs of the modern fast-pacing community, while more and more users switch to smartphones and tablets from their desktops and laptops. We have recently entered the era of ‘on-the-go lifestyle’, so it’s time to look at how mobile software will be evolving in the future.

Mobile Entertainment Statistics

In 2017, Apple issued the list of the top 20 applications with 7 of them falling under the category of media and entertainment (e.g. Netflix or Instagram). Also, the latest research on the most profitable Google Play applications within the US has shown that almost all titles relate to the mentioned categories (excluding Tinder).
Finally, Spotify demonstrated a fantastic 596% growth rate from November 2014 to November 2018. Within a four-year time span, its audience expanded from 12.5 to 87 million users.
According to the report issued by Localytics, the first half of 2018 was record-setting in terms of mobile app engagement rates. Here are key insights into the research with the exact growth rates mentioned in brackets:

● Average monthly time in app, hours: 02:03 (+12%)
● Average session length, minutes: 07:24 (+10%)
● Average monthly app launches: 16.6 (+2%)
● Push engagement, average number of sessions, Android: 3.28 (+14%)
● Push engagement, average number of sessions, iOS: 4.61 (+38%)
● Average retention: 39% (45%), 28% (36%), 23% (32%) for 1, 2, and 3 months.
● Average churn: 61% (55%), 72% (64%), 77% (68%) for 1, 2, and 3 months.

Note that ‘retention’ stands for customers who have been using the app for one, two or three months. Hence, ‘churn’ reflects the percentage of those who have quitted on it within these timeframes.

Top Trends to Check

Well, it’s clear that mobile applications succeed in attracting customers. Nevertheless, they also have to evolve to meet the changing market requirements. Further, we will focus on the key short-term trends which contribute to the overall user engagement. We can’t give a long-term outlook because the technologies that might affect the market don’t stand still. Most likely, we’ll see a dramatic shift in trends in two or three years.

1. Live Streaming

In 2016, Facebook reported that its users spend 3x more time watching live broadcasts than traditional videos. Visualization and on-time delivery are crucial as you can engage more customers with unique video content. Live streaming works fine for musicians who broadcast their shows, bloggers who attend various events, and so on. Of course, game streams are extremely profitable as well if they are appropriately targeted.

2. Native Ads

Business Insider also issued its own study and made interesting forecasts. According to them, native ads will cover 74% of the total US revenue from advertising by 2021. Large social networks like Facebook or Instagram will benefit most from this trend because they can successfully integrate ads into their feeds. As is known, users tend to respond to promos that don’t stand out from other content types, so well-designed native ads will come in useful.

3. New Tech

Here, we refer to the modern technology in general, because all tech solutions pursue the same goal when it comes to user engagement. Most innovations act as buzzwords and capture user attention straight away. Look at some of the most prominent tech trends:

● Artificial Intelligence. AI-powered smart devices are already here. Digital assistants help us with daily tasks as AI predicts customers’ needs ideally.
● Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality. While these solutions are no longer as innovative as other tech, they remain unique for the majority of users.
● Blockchain. Decentralized networks are wonderful as they support direct content delivery and get rid of middlemen with unnecessary fees.

4. Messengers and Chatbots

Combining the benefits of native ads and AI, app developers can create personalized chatbots and instant messaging systems for businesses. Definitely, users will appreciate it if they can contact a business or any other company directly through a fast and smooth interface. Bots are vital when you need to provide quality support or respond to user feedback.

5. Loyalty Bonuses

When it comes to entertainment apps like online casinos, there are some methods that always prove to be efficient for engaging users. Right now, mobile casino bonuses gain popularity because gamblers ‘migrate’ to apps from their desktop clients and land-based halls. Hence, casino operators list unique offers (e.g. match deposit bonuses, free spins, tournament entries) for users to access their accounts from mobile devices. They boost interest without significant expenses, because wagering requirements are always there.

Engaging Users Even Better

To attract more customers, mobile developers can use traditional approaches, which aren’t affected by volatile trends. Examples are right here:
● Unique offers. Create personalized content and deliver original products or services to have an edge over competitors.
● User coverage. Either focus on the wider audience or create niche products for a certain group of users. To choose the right approach, you will need to conduct a proper business analysis.
● Third-party content. If you have an aggregator app, allow other content creators to submit their music or videos, so that you can diversify offers.

Remember that loyal users are those who get what they want. Thus, utilize time-proven engagement tricks and keep an eye on recent trends to know how to interact with new customers.

Author's Bio: 

Acquiring a wealth of experience in writing articles on trends and prospects for the development of the game industry in the world I I've found myself as a Freelance Journalist. I am writing now about blockchain and cryptocurrencies trends, sometimes covering importance of bitcoin for various other industries.