6.4M Engagements, 29.7k Unique Apps

Our recent post was a teaser to this one. Perhaps, not as successful as we had expected. Anyway, now’s the time for the real deal. Here is the first part of our insights concerning app usage.

The following insights are based on actual app usage of 5,000 users from our data base during Oct-Dec 2014. We’d like to refer again to our privacy policy, and assure you that no personal data on any particular user is shared herein.


  1. Throughout this post we will be referring to the analyzed data set as “the sample”
  2. The basic measurement unit of this analysis is “app engagements” (AE). Whenever a user opens a certain app we measure another AE. This allows us to monitor many parameters, the most important of which is — how many times users open a specific app. This is the reason that our data set is so unique, and differs from the usual “best apps” list that is published here and there from time to time

App Usage

The sample consists of ~6.4 million AEs (app engagements), in 29,656 unique apps. Both figures were quite a surprise. Honestly, we didn’t expect users to use so many different apps, but they did. A possible explanation for these impressing figures could be that many of our users are power users. As such, many of them love to try out new apps, even those that are not well known or that cannot be found on any app “hit lists”. The app with most AEs was Whatsapp — just over half a million engagements. Ranked 2nd was Chrome Browser (302,064 AEs) and, the respectable 3rd place goes to Facebook (276,771 AEs). The top three apps account for over 1 million AEs altogether.

Figure 1 reveals the ten apps with most AEs in our sample. A quick calculation shows that these ten apps account for almost one third of all engagements. This makes sense. The apps composing this list are pretty much the most popular messaging, social and search apps, moreover these kinds of apps are highly sticky and are usually used several times everyday.

Figure 1 — Most engaged apps

We would like to emphasize here the difference between apps that are most downloaded vs. those that are actually most engaged. According to Google Play’s stats, both Whatsapp and Chrome Browser still haven’t crossed the 1 billion download mark, while Facebook, Google and Gmail all have. This goes to show our point.

Orphan apps

Orphan apps are apps that were engaged up to 100 times in our sample. These apps may also be referred to as “zombie” apps, as we did in one of our previous posts. No matter how you call them, these apps populate the long tail, and boy, it is long! You can get a hold of the stats on Figure 2. Only 143 apps had over 5,000 engagements, while 17,850 were engaged only up to 10 times.

Figure 2 — Distribution by Engagement

Our sample, has located 26,455 orphan apps (100 engagements or less), which are almost 90% of all apps analyzed. This is the app discovery problem in its most profound essence. Users can barely reach apps in the long tail. On the other hand, app developers are having serious trouble reaching their potential audience. As already discussed, this is exactly what Tingz.me aims to tackle and solve.

There are many more insights that we plan to share from our data. Stay tuned. In the meantime you can always help us spread the word.


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