Detailed within a recent study conducted by app analytics company Flurry, mobile app use spiked on Thanksgiving 2013 with approximately 1.3 billion app starts in the United States. Rising nearly 75 percent year over year, Thanksgiving 2012 accounted for about 750 million app starts. The total figure has also tripled in size since 2011 which brought in about 400 million app session starts on Turkey Day. Flurry attributes the large spike in activity to the significant change in how we utilize mobile devices over traditional computers when working, playing games and relaxing while consuming media.
Specifically, media apps that allow users to consume feature-length movies, music, television shows, YouTube videos and photos where the most popular when compared to the week prior to Thanksgiving. Video games also spiked significantly week over week, likely due to more people looking for some entertainment while relaxing over the holiday weekend. Usage of lifestyle apps that include books and magazines rose slightly year over year as well as social networking applications like Facebook and Twitter.
Interestingly, the use of shopping apps didn’t spike as sharply week over week compared to previous years. However, it’s likely that consumers started their holiday shopping earlier due to the shortened shopping season between Black Friday and Christmas this year. In fact, Flurry reports that shopping app usage during the week prior to Thanksgiving spiked by 70 percent when compared to the same time period during 2012.
Apps that were less popular this year were related to business, education, news, travel, health and fitness. It seems that Americans were less likely to do anything work related this year during the holiday weekend and keeping track of calories wasn’t a priority when a giant turkey was on the dining room table. While Thanksgiving is one of the heaviest travel days of the year, people were less likely to use travel apps since travel for the weekend had already been booked.