If you pay attention to tech news, you’ve probably heard that the mobile app business is plateauing, or even dying. Developers and marketers are having trouble profiting from their work, and the growth is stagnating, slowly but surely. Furthermore, technology from bots and other services will replace many of the functions people look to mobile apps for. Many are warning against further investment in this industry, because it’s a land of false promises.
According to Jackdaw analyst Jan Dawson, this could not be further from the truth.
Instead of coming to the conclusion that apps are dying, Dawson said, the app market is evolving. There are many reasons to support this side, one being that the amount of money made by mobile app developers is growing, which makes revenues strong. Apple also reports that the number of users who have accounts with and engage with the App Store is the highest it’s ever been, so outreach has never been better for the industry.
Furthermore, three-fourths of all revenue for apps come from games, something that bots will be unable to take over, due to their nature. Also, social media and messaging will still require apps, along with many productivity programs, so this is furthered as specious.
Bots and chat apps are an interesting revelation—many programs can interact with users to give them what they want immediately and for multiple services, which theoretically eliminates the need for downloading many apps for each purpose. However, this development has not yet received a stronghold in the market, so to point to it as an “app killer” may be too premature at this point.
The real challenge, many say, is for app developers to get their product to stand out. There are many ways to go about this, from employing ads that directly prompt the viewer to install the app (which has proven to be generally effective) to social media marketing. The mobile app-install ads revenue is projected to increase in the next five years, contrary to the popular belief that mobile app markets are going to experience a financial slump.
Advertising is also seeing a reform. Many advertisers are trending toward using video advertising, among other types and methods, to engage users within their apps. They’re also developing new formats to use, such as deep linking and app streaming, which will gradually replace much of what we know today. Instead of focusing on what is going out, many in the app industry are concerned with what’s coming in to replace it.
Although the number and growth of the top apps is leveling off, apps will continue to be updated and used. The fact that app purchases are leveling off, but the revenue is continuing to grow, is a direct result of the smartphone marketing reaching a plateau—most people in developed countries have smartphones, and they have a good, established roster of apps on their phones already.
The money is saying the industry is far from over—it will only become more standardized, established and lucrative. Investing in a mobile app continues to be a great way for businesses to connect with their consumers, and for people with great ideas to try to break through.