Things to Learn From The UK’s Most Popular Apps?
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What can We Learn From The UK

All the top UK mobile apps have somethings in common

What can We Learn From The UK

Internet service provider Plusnet entered the mobile market last year with the release of Plusnet Mobile, offering affordable SIM-only deals with a focus on inexpensive data plans.

In celebration of this new venture, Plusnet Mobile collaborated with cult comic artist Jack Teagle to create ‘App Force’, a series of illustrations based on popular smartphone apps. As well as these illustrations, Plusnet Mobile took a look at the usage stats behind some of the world’s most popular apps to see what they tell us about the future of app use.



Even before Trump’s (and now Trump Jr.’s) public transgressions on the platform, Twitter had permeated the media and news sphere in a manner that’s incomparable to rival social media platforms.

The microblogging site now has an estimated 319 million monthly active users, sending around 500 million tweets every day, but that huge user base doesn’t come without its setbacks. Dealing with extremist material and online abuse has been the platform’s Achilles’ heel, with harassment on Twitter a constant moderation battle which has contributed to some prominent users leaving the platform (Stephen Fry for example).

Twitter is also a good example of preparing a plan for when the market for an app starts to plateau. While still growing, the microblogging platform is dwarfed in comparison to rivals Facebook – Twitter grew by 2 million users in the fourth quarter of 2017, while Facebook grew by 72 million monthly active users.


My FitenessPal

MyFitnessPal is one of the most popular fitness applications on the planet, with over 165 million active users. The app was a frontrunner in the trend of the quantified self that boomed 1-2 years ago – ‘individuals engaged in the self-tracking of any kind of biological, physical, behavioural, or environmental information’ (according to THE QUANTIFIED SELF: Fundamental Disruption in Big Data Science and Biological Discovery).

The onset of the Internet of Things is likely to assist the growth of this trend, as users seek to better understand and analyse things like sleep patterns and any unhealthy habits they may have unwittingly picked up.

Just Eat


One of the first apps to collate takeaways from the local area in one place, Just Eat delivered more than 100 million orders last year to hungry users around the UK. Just Eat expanded its influence on the UK takeaway scene by purchasing Hungryhouse for £200 million in late 2016, although this deal has been subject to an investigation over its potentially negative impact on restaurants who use the service.

According to a study by NPD Group, takeaway food is growing at a significantly faster rate than the restaurant sector, with an increase of 10% over the last year, compared to a rise of 1% for restaurants and sit-down dining establishments.

Deliveroo and UberEATS have emerged as rivals in the field, opting for a higher-end approach to takeaway delivery. McDonald’s has recently been added to the UberEATS roster, becoming another well-known brand of restaurants that previously did not offer delivery services. The announcement was met with widespread media attention and renewed interest in the platform, so it’s a reasonable prediction that the fight for takeaway app dominance may hinge on the sign up of ‘big name’ eateries.


Using apps for casual hook-ups and relationships was popularised as a concept by Grindr, with the heterosexual market slower to adjust to the idea of finding love or a date using their smartphone. Tinder was a landmark release in normalizing dating applications in general, with 13% of couples who met on dating apps getting engaged or married since its launch in 2012.

The paradigms of app-based dating continue to shift from Tinder’s release and popularisation, with women-focused Bumble gaining traction in recent years. Bumble puts women in the driving seat as if the female member of a match doesn’t message within 24 hours, the connection disappears.

This kind of innovation is most likely born from the issue of unsolicited, impropriate messages that often plague dating platforms (overwhelmingly from men), and shows how it’s possible to carve out a niche by solving even one problem from a rival platform.



Since its earliest days, Snapchat has been squarely aimed at the youth market. Its user base remains focused on young people – 59% of 12- to 17-year-olds and 68% of 18- to 24-year-olds using the app at least once a month. Snapchat’s market is growing for older generations, however, with the number of users in the 25-34 age bracket expected to double by 2020, contributing to a user base of over 158 million daily users.

Snapchat is a great example of adding new, shareable features to boost your audience. Its infamous ‘dog’ and ‘beauty’ filters ­and its celebrity fans (the Kardashians being prime suspects) have helped to propel Snapchat into the spotlight, aiding its adoption from tech-savvy 30+ smartphone users.

The influence of its new features has been felt right across the social media arena, with Instagram taking inspiration from the time-sensitive nature of Snapchat messages with its ‘Stories’ functionality that was introduced last year.

MAD Team
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