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Finance apps dominate Play Store and App Store – but have surprisingly low ratings

  • Consumers across app categories are increasingly looking at store reviews and ratings to decide which apps to use.
  • Finance is one of the fastest growing categories across Apple and Google stores, though lacking dominant players as in other categories.
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Finance apps dominate Play Store and App Store – but have surprisingly low ratings

The first couple of pandemic years of the 2020s may be defined by the boom in mobile application usage and spending. In the increasingly competitive mobile app market, store ratings and user reviews are critical to an application’s success. A recent study by AppFollow found that 77% of people read at least one review before downloading an application, and 100% of users that find applications while browsing an app store see app ratings.

2020 saw 218 billion app downloads, rising significantly from 140 billion downloads in 2016, according to Statista. Revenues earned from the two big app stores also rose significantly, with mobile spending swelling to $112 billion in 2020, from around $85 million in 2019. And in the first half of 2021 alone, around $65 billion was spent on apps. 

How do people decide what apps to invest their time, money, and screen space in?

“2020, and 2021 so far, have been defining years for many apps and categories in the app stores,” said Anatoly Sharifulin, founder and CEO of AppFollow, a SaaS platform for application management. “Now more than ever, consumers are looking to friends and families for recommendations on what brands and services to use. With this comes the increased importance of reviews, and the future of apps is limitless if brands can understand the needs and wants of consumers,” he said.

The report, ‘Reputation Management for Mobile Apps’, studied applications’ online reputation across categories and the two stores, Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store. The report studied how much time and effort applications put into their reputation management, ratings and reviews, and how effective their efforts have been. 

The study found that finance is a highly competitive category across the two stores. The field is still largely unclaimed by dominant players. With the fintech boom led by neobanks, traditional banks expanding with digital services, amateur trading and fund management applications, the number of customers looking to tap into the rising trend is increasing. The players in the space still do not have the defining market share that players in other categories do, like Facebook or TikTok in the social category, or Spotify and Audible in the Music & Audio category.


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