2016 is only one month old, but that doesn’t mean it’s too early to find out which apps are the hottest in the U.S. so far this year. SimilarWeb’s ‘Usage Rank’ rating, can discover the top ten apps trending upwards, and top ten apps trending downwards. The Usage Rank rating is calculated based on a SimilarWeb algorithm that factors in ‘Current Installs’ and ‘Active Users’ in a selected country- in this case the U.S.
To determine the hottest and coldest apps we examined an app’s Usage Rank as of January 31st and compared it to the Usage Rank in December 2015. The data allows us to discover which apps are trending up, and shows several gaming apps, most notably, Candy Crush Jelly Saga. App seasonality is also extremely visible, for example, the deadline to file U.S. federal taxes is April 18th 2016, and app users have already begun preparing with apps such as IRS2Go and Turbo Tax Return App. Another app that showed immense growth was Australian Open 2016, the official app of the tennis tournament. The app’s popularity grew in January as the event took place from January 18th-31st. However, now that the tournament is over, we may see the Australian Open app on a downward trend in February.
The apps trending downward are also a good measure of seasonality and the list reflects the fact that the Holiday season has come to a close. Retail and payment apps such as Samsung Pay and Walmart saw the most significant decreases in Usage Rank, with the Walmart app even falling out of the top 100. Furthermore, Christmas specific apps including ElfYourself and Google Santa Tracker dropped hundreds of spaces each. Along with the Holiday season, the NFL regular season also came to a close in early January, and with it marked the end of fantasy football season. Apps such as Yahoo Fantasy Sports and ESPN Fantasy Football saw big decreases in Usage Rank and both fumbled out of the top 100.
One notable app that didn’t make the top trending list but still showed huge growth, is fitness app Fitbit. Fitbit is a new addition to the top 100 apps in terms of Usage Rank, and as of January 31st, the app was ranked 82, up from 112 in December. Fitbit’s rise in popularity shows another trend, the growth of health and wellness apps in January. Looking to keep their new year’s resolutions, many app users began using Fitbit and other health apps such as Calorie Counter – MyFitnessPal which ranked 390 in December but jumped to 191 by January 31.