A new year’s upon us, which means it’s resolution season. One of the best resolutions you can make this year is to spend less time on your phone and more time living in the moment.
We hear from people every week who are worried about their screen time, and we feel it ourselves too.
At Moment, we’re always poring over the research on how to sustainably change behavior. (On that note, one of our favorite books this year was “How to Break Up with Your Phone” by Catherine Price — check it out!) We’ve found that one of the most powerful ways to make your goals a reality is to declare them to others. With that in mind, we designed and built a new feature called Moment Mode that we’re excited to introduce.
Moment Mode allows you to let your friends and family know that you’d like to be offline for awhile, improving personal accountability and leading to fewer missed calls, texts, and other notifications when you return to your phone.
From within the Moment app, tap Enter Moment Mode on the main screen, then choose how long you’d like to declare your intention to be off your phone. From there, Moment will generate a post that you can publish to Instagram or share across other channels.
Join us this year in living #inthemoment — we’d love for you to tag us @inthemomentapp in your Moment Mode posts to let us know what you’ll be doing with all that time you’ve gotten back. If you have any feedback, we’d also love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy New Year from the whole Moment team!
For a long time, Moment has been a personal passion project. I created the app because I was concerned about my own relationship with my phone, and I’ve only become more certain that other people are struggling in the same way I once was.
It’s amazing how far we’ve come. Over 7 million people have downloaded Moment all over the world, and people who use the Moment Coach are getting back an hour each day by reducing their phone usage. That all adds up to a whopping 49 years of time we’re giving people back every single day! That’s time people are using to be with friends and family, get some exercise, learn a new language and just be in the moment.
I’m excited to let you know that Moment is finally growing beyond its team of one. Earlier this year, I met Tim Kendall, an experienced tech leader who’s also passionate about reducing device addiction. Tim is now the CEO of Moment and we will be working together to improve the app and bring it to even more people around the world. I’m as committed to this cause as ever, and will be staying on and partnering with Tim to build some great new features, many of which you’ve asked for over the years. (P.S. We’re hiring so would love for you to join us!)
Tim and I both believe that time is our most precious asset. We can’t wait to help even more people get time back to spend with friends and family, explore passions, and live in the moment.
Whenever I see good or bad news about a specific app, I’m always curious to see how things will shake out in the long run. I immediately want to dive into the app usage data from Moment the next day, but it’s always better if I let it simmer for a month.
Here’s the latest question I’m tackling: Did Uber’s recent showings in the news (sexual harassment, ties to Trump administration, stealing secrets, CEO yelling at a driver, etc) hurt its business?
To answer this, I’m going to compare Uber’s app usage to its closest competitor, Lyft. I’m drawing a line in the sand when #BoycottUber started trending. I want to compare the time period before that (9/14/16 to 1/25/17), during (1/26/17 to 2/2/17), and after (2/3/17 to today).
Let’s start by taking a look at the apps’ daily usage numbers:
From that graph, I’m not seeing a big difference before, during, and after #BoycottUber. However, this graph doesn’t take into account how many people are using each app.
This one does:
Uber still has more users than Lyft, but Uber’s market share is shrinking and Lyft’s is increasing.
Here’s the specific data:
Over the course of the last 6 months, Uber’s active users have decreased 9.43%, taking a big 20.51% hit when #BoycottUber was trending. All of Uber’s negative press is completely stopping its growth and causing it to lose active users.
In the meantime, Lyft’s active users have increased 40.29%. Lyft is benefitting tremendously from Uber’s missteps.
My advice to Uber: stay out of the press for a while. Turns out not all press is good press.
Instagram introduced Stories on August 2nd, 2016. Basically, it’s a Snapchat clone with Instagram’s network behind it.
Because of the way I use Snapchat and Instagram, I thought this would mark the end of Snapchat. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Nothing has changed. Instagram Stories hasn’t affected Snapchat’s daily usage at all. The new feature hasn’t even affected how much Instagram gets used every day.
Snapchat is fine.
I noticed something interesting that confirms that social networks are a zero-sum game. Take a look at the past week: Every day Snapchat get used more, Instagram takes a dip. Every day Instagram is used more, Snapchat takes a dip. The swing is never more than 5 minutes either way, but it’s a big difference when you’re talking about thousands of data points from Moment’s app tracking.
Huge Overlap Between Snapchat and Instagram
Snapchat has a huge overlap with Instagram users. 80.4% of Snapchat users also use Instagram. No wonder they affect each other so much.
Inspired by Apple’s own “your phone is ruining your life” motivation behind creating the Apple Watch, I dove into the phone use data collected anonymously in Moment to see if the Apple Watch affected how often people are picking up their iPhones. I knew Moment was in the unique position to actually prove if the Apple Watch helped people use their phones less and see if Apple accomplished their goal.
Before the Apple Watch came out, my gut instinct was telling me that the Apple Watch would make the problem worse. How could strapping a screen to your wrist — where a text or SnapChat could literally shake you awake — help someone’s constant craving to be connected? I thought if you got a buzz on your wrist, you’d see the notification and immediately dive into the digital glow of your iPhone screen.
At least pulling your phone out of your pocket to check a notification offered some friction. The Apple Watch is frictionless.
Everyone vs. Watchers
To establish a baseline, here are the averages across every person using Moment. Before the Apple Watch shipped April 24th, that average was 132 minutes with 48 pickups. After the 24th, the average is 137 minutes with 49 pickups, so it’s gone up a little in the past month.
To compare, I separated the people that used Moment’s Apple Watch app that was installed when you first set up your Apple Watch. I only included a person if they used Moment for a couple weeks before they got the Watch and for a couple weeks after they got the Watch. I call this group the watchers.
Pre-Watch, the average watcher used their phone for 145 minutes a day with 54 pickups. Post-Watch, the average dropped slightly to 141 minutes a day with 51 pickups.
Despite the upward trend for the baseline group, the average dropped for the watchers after getting the Apple Watch, but not by much.
That’s not the interesting part though.
The slight majority of the Watchers, about 60%, actually saw a huge decline in their phone use after the Watch. Those checkers saw their iPhone use go down an average of 20 minutes a day after they got their Apple Watch. They also picked up their iPhone 9 fewer times each day.
Checkers and Perusers
I have a theory that there are two types of iPhone users: the checkers and the perusers. The checkers are the people who are constantly picking up their phone to quickly check something, mostly their notifications. Checkers are the ones who leave their phone out at the dinner table, face up, to instantly see if their phone lights up.
Perusers are the one’s who use their iPhone for longer periods of time to occupy their mind and to fend off boredom. Five minutes in line at the grocery store, fifteen minutes checking Twitter at lunch. Perusers pick up their phone less often, but use it for a longer period each time they unlock their iPhone.
In my case, I’m a peruser. I check Twitter and my RSS reader when I need a break from work or after 5 PM when I’m relaxing on the couch. I have all of my notifications turned off, except for texts and phone calls, so I’m rarely prompted by a notification to pick up my iPhone.
My wife is a checker. She has all of her notifications turned on, so she’s instantly notified when she gets an email or when someone comments on her Facebook photo. She’s always flipping her iPhone face down at dinner so she’s not tempted to look at the screen that just started glowing.
My wife and I use our phone for about the same amount of time each day (90 minutes), but she’ll pick it up 70 times and I’ll only pick it up 25.
The data from Moment seems to support this too, although not perfectly. The # of minutes is normally distributed, but the # of pickups isn’t. There’s a little peak at the start and a little peak at the end, with a dip in the middle.
Applying this thinking to the Apple Watch, it makes sense that the checkers would benefit most from the Watch. They can quickly see their notifications and move on without touching their iPhone.
It’s only been a little over a month since the Apple Watch came out and it’s already changing people’s relationship with their iPhone. I call that is a huge success for the Apple Watch. I did not expect it to make such a difference, but maybe that’s the peruser in me talking.
Notes about the Data
The baseline averages were calculated from 1.8 billion minutes of phone use and 500 million pickups. There were 206 people who were included in the watchers group, with 6.8 million minutes and 1.9 million pickups.