The Used-It-Once Abyss

Posted on March 30, 2012


Kraft's ifood assistant app

Stop for a second, pull out your smartphone and look at all the apps you’ve downloaded. I’m willing to bet there are a lot that you used once or maybe twice and never opened again.

You’re not alone.

According to a recent study more than one out of every four apps are played with once and never used again. I’m willing to bet there is an even larger percentage that are used a few times then ignored.

In a recent Digiday article about saving apps from falling into the used-it-once abyss, writer Giselle Abramovich says that successful apps have long-term utility; consistently providing information the user needs, “Apps that provide some sort of value for the consumer are seeing high engagement numbers among users coming back for more.”

Some of the examples she cites include:

  • Walgreens’ app that allows consumers to schedule prescription refills
  • Zyrtec’s Allergy Cast which provides daily information about air quality for allergy sufferers.
  • REI’s Snow Report that provides information about ski conditions at resorts around the country.
  • Kraft’s iFood Assistant which features a recipe box and a grocery shopping assistant.

Now consider this comment Dan Mason, President and CEO of CBS Radio, made in a recent interview with Radio Ink, “The role of a disc jockey is to introduce people to music that we all like, to share information about weather and traffic in the city that we live in.”

Being a source for new music discovery and information about traffic and weather — or something more distinctive like allergy information and ski conditions — are all things that might help a mobile app, or  your show, avoid the used-it-once abyss.