Most addicting apps have become increasingly popular in recent years. According to Sensor Tower, the total number of smartphone apps downloads rose from 153.1 billion in 2016 to 194 billion by the end of 2019 – an increase of 27%. With such a high number of app downloads, it stands to reason that there are some apps that are particularly addictive and engaging. In this article, we will take a look at some of the most addictive apps, what makes them so popular, and how to stay in control of your use.
What Makes an App Addictive?
Before delving into the world of addictive apps it is worth exploring why an app might be more addictive than others. Generally, an app is judged on its ability to engage users and keep them coming back for more. There are many factors, both intentional and unintentional, that contribute to an app’s addictiveness.
Intentional: App Design Strategy
App developers have a direct hand in how engaging an app is. The amount and quality of content, use of visual cues and sound elements, integration of rewards and gamification, as well as microtransactions, all play a role in how pleasing an app is to use.
Unintentional: Social Media
Much of the time, an app’s addictiveness is a result of users promoting it via social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram. Since users tend to compete with friends and family over their digital achievements, this encourages more users to engage with a particular app. It’s a cycle that fuels growth in usage.
10 of the Most Addictive Apps
Now that we have taken a look at the key ingredients for making an app addictive, let’s take a closer look at 10 of the most addictive apps for 2020.
Snapchat is a widely popular photo and video messaging app that adds a layer of fun to regular picture/video messaging. With its array of lens filters, augmented reality objects, and text effects, Snapchat keeps users engaged while they communicate with their friends.
TikTok’s rise in popularity has been a phenomenon. The platform is built around its lip-syncing and comedy videos. Like Snapchat, TikTok users interact with their followers and friends in real-time with their videos. This encourages high levels of engagement.
Instagram is arguably the primary social platform for sharing photos and posts. Its numerous filters, editing tools, and tags are some of the main traits behind its popularity. The app also gives users the ability to comment, share, post, and follow friends, celebrities, and other accounts they find interesting.
Candy Crush is an example of a casual puzzle game that keeps users hooked. The game rewards players for reaching a certain level of points. It also offers social-connected features such as leader boards, achievements and incentives that encourage repeat play.
Words with Friends
Words with Friends is a classic word puzzle game that encourages users to sharpen their vocabulary and spelling skills. The game hook comes from the fact that you can compete against your friends online and in the same game. The challenge is always there, as your friends can play their turn at any time.
Netflix is one of the many streaming services available on the market. What makes Netflix special is that it caters to all kinds of viewers. It offers a huge catalog of movies and TV shows for everyone – from documentaries to cartoons. The company also produces some of its own exclusive content, making it the go-to streaming network for many users.
Angry Birds is an iconic game that has been around for over a decade. The goal of the game is to catapult birds with a slingshot in order to destroy all the pigs hidden among various structures. The game requires strategy and timing in order to succeed in a level.
Clash of Clans
Clash of Clans is one of the most popular mobile games and is based around strategic warfare. The goal of the game is to construct your own village and army which can then be used to attack and defend against other players online.
Fortnite is a battle royale game that is unique in its graphics and mode of play. Players compete against each other in a massive arena and weapons are scattered throughout. The game is also free-to-play, meaning users can jump in anytime for a quick match.
Mobile Strike is a game heavily based on strategy. Players must build and manage their own base and recruit an array of troops to take into battle. The game also offers alliances, so players can join up with friends to create a more formidable force.
There are numerous apps on the market that are extremely addicting, but the 10 listed above stand out due to their high levels of engagement and active user base. Many of the driving factors behind this success are intentional design strategies from the developers, as well as the unintentional viral aspect of social media. While it is important to know how to play apps responsibly, it’s also beneficial to learn about what makes them so great.