Why is the shelf-life of the latest apps reducing dramatically?

This guest column is authored by Jennifer Warren, Content Maven,

It happened to Dubsmash. Later, it happened to Prisma. Then it happened to Pokemon Go. What am I talking about? I’m talking about the fad of short-lived apps.

Even the top-selling apps in the world can’t live up to the hype. They escalate and take over like they are the new world pioneers and then fizzle out within weeks. Most of the popular apps don’t enjoy being a crowned glory for more than a year.

True, isn’t it? Do you remember the last time you used Dubsmash to make a fun video? No? Introduced in November 2014, Dubsmash started losing its charm towards early 2016.

P.S.: These are the statistics for the above-mentioned apps.

App Name Baby-boomer Users Gen X Users Gen Y Users Millennial Users
Pokemon Go <1% 8-10% 20-24% 65-71%
Prisma <1% 12-15% 25-28% 56-62%
Dubsmash 2-4% 18-20% 35-40% 36-45%

Developers are more worried than ever.

So what is it that is causing people to delete these apps quicker than the string of good morning messages on Whatsapp?

1. It doesn’t entertain me any more

Isn’t that the biggest riveting issue these days? A common phrase in the air, ‘I’m bored of it’. We are surrounded by overflowing streams of information and data. So, nothing grasps our attention and keeps us hooked for a long period of time.


On Twitter, we hunt for new subject to babble on. On Snapchat, we keep looking for new filters. I have lost the count of the number of times I open YouTube to take a look at some video and end up watching cat and dog videos. We dig on a source of interest to keep us occupied. We have come to those times when we are extremely obsessed about an issue today and can completely forget about it tomorrow. It has already been declared that humans have shorter attention span than a goldfish.

Pokemon Go was introduced in July 2016. And now, take a look at this picture.

Note the date of the tweet and the number of likes. That’s how quickly the trends change.

Note the date of the tweet and the number of likes. That’s how quickly the trends change.

Note the date of the tweet and the number of likes. That’s how quickly the trends change.

Reportedly, 30% people have already deleted their Pokemon Go App. 52% have stopped using it.

2. It’s not new anymore

Whenever a new technology is introduced to the market, people become obsessed with it. But this obsession slumps soon.


If something goes viral, hundreds of similar formats and copied frameworks make way into the market. Type photo editing Apps in your app store and you will know what I am talking about.

Ultimately, people go back to the same app they have been using all this while.

3. The temporary adrenaline rush

no mans sky

It is the mob mentality or the herd phenomenon where we are excited and become a part of the hype. Soon you start noticing the drawbacks of it and observe the errors. This is exactly what happened to No Man’s Sky. Though it is a PC game, it is noteworthy observing that it had a crash in the number of downloads from 10,000 per day to merely 2,000 per day in just a month’s time. For No Man’s Sky, there was a grand launch with mind-blowing visuals, something that was never seen before. It had created major ripples in the gaming community. Its international release was on 12th August. As you can see in the image above, this adrenaline rush started wearing off within 10 days. Gamers started noticing the impracticality of the framework, bugs in the game and not-appealing-anymore syndrome set in. The word-of-mouth that raised the game had brought it down too.

4. The millennial tiredness syndrome

Now, this is something even Obama had earlier mentioned in one of his speeches. Psychologists have been noticing a drift in the culture and norms among the teenagers these days. There is a lack of focus or direction. Hence, they want to do every new fascinating thing that comes in their way. They are easily bored or tired of doing something that they were absolutely enjoying a while ago. They are constantly looking for a source of entertainment.

bored teens

When Obama mentioned seeing such traits in his daughters too, majority of Americans could reckon with him. They could see that happening around them, in their family. This is the most important reason for why the number of billionaires has dropped by 37% among the millennial population.

5. The constant attention deficit

Just as you think that this teenager has begun to enjoy a game, less you will realize that he has already deleted it from his phone. And when he realizes there is nothing else as interesting as this one, he will download it again. After giving more time to it, he will be bored of it and will not hesitate to delete it again! As annoying as it sounds, this is what the reality check for today’s scenario is.


An attention span shorter than that of a goldfish.

6. The herd phenomenon

There are many of us who took up a particular course or a subject in college just because our friend did that? It happens everywhere around the world. You see a friend posting a Prisma filtered display picture on her Whatsapp and you follow the line. Days later, you do that too. You were just waiting for your friend to change her picture to something else. And then, you decide to put up yours.

herd phenomenon

7. Multiple filters, more likes

Here’s some interesting piece of information. Only 15% of Prisma users had directly used the Prisma cam. The remaining 85% take picture of their phone and then filter it on Prisma. How is it relevant to our discussion? Well, this statistics should clear that doubt. 93% agreed that they did not enjoy using a Prisma cam directly as they did not know how the result of the filtered image may appear. Hence, they click the picture on their phone and then test various filters to get a likable result. In these recent times where everyone wants to look good, for every 100 selfies, 89 are deleted and from the remaining 11 pictures, 8 are filtered on an app to hide the said ‘flaws’. This is the time when everyone is extremely cautious about their public image and projection.


This is the era of the millennials where everything is temporary and comes with an expiry date. Even the costliest cell phones in the world do not stay so for more than few months, so there is a lot of volatility associated. The face of the generation, Facebook had slow growth charts past 3 years. So, the need of the hours is to come up with something that stays concretely strong irrespective of the user or the user generation.

Image Credit – HardatHub

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One comment

  1. 1

    In a recent time, we have seen that many apps and games go viral in the starting phase and later the interest and excitement just go away. The young generation get bored quickly with any technology or game.

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