App usage in the U.S. surged during the Thanksgiving Day holiday, according to recently released data from app analytics firm Flurry. Approximately 1.2 billion app starts were initiated during Thanksgiving weekend this year, significantly more than the 800 million app starts recorded last year. Although previously released data from the IBM (NYSE:IBM) Digital Analytics Benchmark service showed that mobile sales during the Black Friday weekend increased by 9.8 percent over last year, Flurry pointed out that the spike in Thanksgiving Day app usage was not just the result of increased mobile shopping.
Flurry Analytics reported that Thanksgiving Day app usage increased by 25 percent this year. In 2011 and 2012, app usage on Thanksgiving Day only spiked by 20 percent. In order to discover what types of apps were driving the usage increase, Flurry broke down the app usage sessions by category and compared the changes in the volume of app sessions to the usage rates during the week before Thanksgiving.
Not surprisingly, the app analytics firm found that there was a solid 26 percent increase in shopping app usage on Thanksgiving Day compared to the week before. However, the biggest app usage category was media apps, such as music, photography, video, and movies. There was a 50 percent increase in the use of media apps during Thanksgiving. The second biggest increase in app usage was games, at 35 percent.
Flurry noted that the media app usage spike was likely due to the increased use of video and photo apps during family gatherings on the holiday. For similar reasons, people had more leisure time to play games on their mobile devices. Interestingly, the increase in the use of shopping apps was actually higher on Thanksgiving than it was on Black Friday. According to Flurry’s data, the increase in shopping app usage on Black Friday dropped to 21 percent from 26 percent on Thanksgiving Day.
Although Flurry’s data covers all mobile apps and not just those on the iOS platform, it can be assumed that app usage on Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) devices saw a similar increase during the Thanksgiving Day holiday. It can also be assumed that Apple accounted for the majority of the shopping app usage during Thanksgiving Day, since iOS already accounted for the vast majority of online mobile sales made during Black Friday.
As previously reported, data from the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark service showed that over 82 percent of the total number of online mobile sales made during Black Friday came through Apple’s iOS. On the other hand, Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform only accounted for approximately 17.5 percent of all mobile sales. Although it is unknown how much of the total Thanksgiving Day app starts can be attributed to the iOS platform, Apple has consistently been able to monetize its smaller user base better than Android has been able to monetize its much larger user base.
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