App Effect: The Change In User’s Behaviour

by Yan Fei, CEO, SHAREit    Apr 25, 2016


I remember my cousin having a phone that would let him make calls for only 30 minutes a day. Not because there were network problems, but because he had to charge the phone for more than 10 hours in order to get those 30 minutes of calling. He now recounts those days and feels fascinated every time he uses a smartphone. From using a massive looking phone for calling to switching to handy touchscreens which acts like your personal assistant, his generation has witnessed the real transition.

It would be a little difficult to point out the exact time when these phones became such an inseparable part of us. I believe it can be placed somewhere back in 2007 when Steve Jobs gave an opportunity to developers to build apps for the iPhone. He did give the tech lovers around the world a sweet story when he announced, “You’ve got everything you need if you know how to write apps using the most modern web standards to write amazing apps for the iPhone today.” The opening up of the app market can be marked as really crucial development for the smartphone market. Over the years, these apps have become the soul of smartphones.

Developers started writing various apps and they will not stop. Google followed suit in October with the “Android Market”. 2010 can be counted as the most popular year for apps when it became the word of the year. The chair of the committee admitted that the most convincing arguments from the voting floor was from a woman who said that even her grandmother had heard of it. Apps just exploded the mobile phone world and converted the cell phones into smartphones. From gaming to sharing to organizational, more than 10 billion apps flooded the app market.

Interestingly, in a short span of time, it has now become the singular most common yet crucial function that sells any technology. But amongst billions of these apps, what motivates a user to download them? The most important thing that the developer needs to keep in mind while creating the app is how seamlessly it fits into their lives. The person should be motivated to download it and then consistently use it.

According to The Fogg Behaviour Model, there are three elements that must converge at the same moment for a behaviour to occur: Motivation, Ability, and Trigger. When a behaviour does not occur, at least one of those three elements is missing. To make the app a pervasive tool in a person’s daily life, a user must first be convinced. It is no longer only a technological tool, it is a social tool.  If an app is popular in one’s social circle or it has been recommended by someone, or it is just trending in your area, it accounts for being some of the biggest motivators for app downloads.  If social influence is important for youngsters, it is easy accessibility that matters to the older generation. Each app is being customized to meet age specific, region specific demands. Each and every factor of human lives is impacting the usage. The key here is to persuade after studying behaviour analytics because ultimately, only and only understanding a customer’s needs and seamlessly fitting in their lives is the future of the apps.

A person’s smartphone is in a lot of ways the replica of a person. The apps facilitate almost every activity in a person’s daily life. Recently, an executive chairman of a communications security company said that we can extract enough information on a typical person’s phone that one can construct a virtual clone of that individual. One can communicate, share, shop, play, work, set reminders, learn and much more through the app. Wherever you go, you let it follow. From saving you frequent banking trips to letting you escape those long bill payment queues, apps have made people accustomed to a more simplified lifestyle.

Mobile has now moved out of pocket and become more wearable. With the growth of wearable tech, the need for intelligent aggregation of content will be the next big thing in the app industry. The future of these apps however lies in behavioural analytics because of emotions being the strongest trigger in our lives. Day in and day out, monitoring HOW these users use an application will the forecast future usage and preferences.