It seems like there’s an app for everything and everyone these days. Interested in meeting your soulmate by being matched with them based on the things you both hate? There’s an app for that. Want to earn gift cards and other prizes by simply walking around? There’s also an app for that. At the beginning of 2018, there were over 2 million apps available for your downloading pleasure in Apple’s App Store – and even more at your disposal if you’re an Android user, with just over 2.5 million options available in the Google Play Store.
With thousands of apps being added each and every day, there is a lot to learn about users and their preferences and in turn, endless ways to analyze and utilize the data. As a text marketing company, we’re always interested in learning more about people’s cell phone habits, including the types of apps people use most often. This prompted us to use Google Trends search data from the past 12 months to explore the most popular apps in the U.S. for a few different categories: health and fitness, dating, and fantasy football. In addition, we also looked at the most popular app overall in each state regardless of category.
We first looked at search data for some of the most popular dating apps. While the popularity of Match, Tinder, and eHarmony shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, there were quite a few states where the most searched dating app was one we were not as familiar with. Coffee Meets Bagel, for starters, a popular search for residents of both Hawaii and California, helps match users without the use of swiping. And there’s Hater, an app antithetical to your run of the mill online dating site, where users are matched based on the things they dislike rather than shared interests that proved to be the most searched dating app for Nebraskans.
The most unique dating app from this study is Huggle, top search from Florida, which matches users based on their shared places they frequent most. Another interesting take away from this data was the popularity of LGBTQ+-focused dating apps, which account for 16% of most searched dating apps used across the U.S. By learning which dating apps are being searched for most, we are able to get a bigger picture about the ways people choose to connect in the digital age.
We next looked at searches for the 25 most downloaded free health and fitness apps as of 10/8/18. Fitbit continues to dominate the health and fitness app scene and takes the top spot for most searched health and fitness app in 28% of states. Other fitness tracking top contenders include MyFitnessPal, Lose It, and Nike Run Club which account for another 26% of states.
One app you may not be familiar with, unless you live in Louisiana or Mississippi, is Sweatcoin, an app that pays you in virtual currency everytime you exercise. The currency can then be exchanged for sports watches and gift cards, which makes for a great added incentive when deciding whether or not to hit the gym. An interesting take away from this particular category is the rise in apps focused on guided meditation, which include the Calm and Headspace apps. By using these apps, people may be seeking out something more to take on the day or simply relax and unwind at the end of a long day.
It’s the time of year for fantasy football and these popular apps are likely being used more than ever as we approach the NFL playoffs. After analyzing search data for some of the most popular fantasy football apps, there were clear favorites in each region of the U.S. The East, West, and Midwest all seem to have their own unique go-to search when it comes to building their fantasy teams. In the east, FanDuel, NFL Fantasy Football in the West, and Yahoo Fantasy Sports takes the top spot in the Midwest. The next top search is DraftKings which pops up in the Northeast and Southwest.
In the heavily populated states of New York and California, Footballguys Fantasy Football seems to be interesting fans. The reason for such a clear divide among regions could be multifaceted. Regional teams and their fans may designate a specific app as their favorite or there could be an element of apps ensuring peak rewards to bring more fans on board. Either way, it’s certainly interesting to see how where you live can have an effect on the searches you make.
And finally, we have made it to the overall most searched app across all categories. For this portion of the study, we looked at searches by state for the 50 most downloaded apps as of 10/8/18. Entertainment apps appear to be the clear winner in these results, but the type of entertainment varies between games, music, social media, and TV & movies. Games, which account for 30% of states’ overall searches, include the popular Fortnite, Happy Color, and Paper.io 2. Music apps comes in second, making up 14% of states’ top searches.
The top search in DC, Gmail, shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise and the same goes for Uber in Nevada. Initially, it was interesting to us that social media apps make up only 4% of states’ most searched apps, but many of these apps often come preinstalled on phones and tablets when purchased new, which could be the reason for low numbers in this particular category.
While there are many takeaways from the data gathered in this study, it’s clear that entertainment is a primary motivation behind many app searches and where you live can have a big impact on your searches. We’ll be curious to see which apps launch in 2019 and how the new additions impact searches in each state.