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US Mobile Users Quit Using News Apps Due To Election Fatigue

US Mobile Users Quit Using News Apps Due To Election Fatigue

Apparently, one can only take so much when it comes to politics. According to a new report published by mobile analytics firm Flurry, two of the lowest decreases in news browsing activity, as done by way of news apps installed on smartphones and tablet devices, happened right after the second and third Presidential debates. 

Additionally, it is interesting to note that the usage of news mobile apps improved overall in the aftermath of each debate (which is expected), the percentage increase slid with each debate. For instance, right after the first debate, news apps experienced a 12 percent improvement in usage. But right after the second debate, that percentage decreased to 10 percent. By the time the third debate was finished, Flurry found that usage of news apps only increased 3 percent.

As for the volume of news app sessions, it decreased after the first debate, outside of major news events, such as the following debates, the Access Hollywood tape leak, and the FBI reopening of the Clinton email investigation. With regards to the tape leak, it led to the biggest increase in mobile session growth (at 18 percent) during the whole election period. The only increase in news activity not related to the elections was the Chicago Cubs’ victory on October 2nd, causing an increase of 10 percent on the usage of news apps.

Flurry attributes the trends mentioned earlier to election fatigue, which has also caused mobile users to stay away from reading or following news altogether. The mobile analytics firm was also quick to point out that because of such election fatigue, users actually disengaged from news apps and even showed decreased usage with their mobile devices.

Flurry also found out that the attention span of American mobile users for following election related news articles was only about 48 hours for each topic. This means that while people would show interest for the first story of a news story’s cycle, they would quickly display lesser interest in later developments. This strongly suggests symptoms of fatigue, with users reading less and less on follow up reports and developments.