The Future of Mobile

Mobile app usage in Europe is heading toward US rates of decline

Tyrone Stewart

Mobile app usage is on the decline in the Europe, despite smartphone traffic more than doubling between 2014 and 2016, according to Adobe Digital Insights.

In Europe, app installs have fallen by five per cent since 2014, with the number of apps opened increasing by four per cent. Despite this, Europe is predicted to see similar declines to the US – where app installs are down by 38 per cent and apps opened down 28 per cent.

“Five in 10 apps are still used more than 10 times after download, showing that brands still have a large, captive mobile audience and an opportunity to capitalise on this usage,” said John Watton, EMEA marketing director at Adobe. “If marketers get mobile apps right, they can be crucial in boosting repeat visits and loyalty. With this in mind, it is critical for brands to look at ways of making the mobile app and browsing experience more compelling and relevant for their consumers, whether through more personalised experiences or with the integration of new technologies such as mobile wallets or location beacons.”

As app use declines, Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) are on the rise. Since April 2016, Google AMP hits have grown almost fivefold and account for seven per cent of all news article clicks around the world. This peaked during the US presidential election in November – seeing an 896 per cent global increase.

Adobe’s report also found that adoption of smartphones in developing economies outpaces that of more affluent ones by as much as 34 per cent – with South American countries being the fastest growing smartphone adopters. Countries like Brazil and Argentina see an average 43 per cent year-on-year growth in smartphone traffic. Meanwhile, there is also booming smartphone growth in India and China, as the US and Europe have reached internet saturation.

In addition, the report found that the tablet share of traffic in 2016 decreased or plateaued in all analysed countries. In the US, there was a 19 per cent decline in traffic – falling to an eight per cent share. The UK, France and Germany averaged a two per cent decline between 2014 and 2016 – with tablets now only accounting for 10 per cent of online visits in Europe.