When recently talking to someone about the apps he's using on his mobile device and which social networks he is active in he noted that he likes Facebook a lot but the app for it on his mobile device is so power hungry, he doesn't dare to let it run in the background because his battery will go flat in a matter of hours. That tells me that he probably gets a lot of updates that are then immediately pushed down to the mobile, which in turn requies the radio to be switched on quite often. There we go, a natural barrier hit.
So what is needed in this case is that the apps becomes more situational aware. When the display backlight is switched off and the phone is locked there's no need for updates to be pushed continuously and the app could inform the backend server so status info is collected and stored until the user actually checks for updates again. I don't think that would be difficult to do. And surely, network operators would be happy about it as well as it reduces the signaling load on the network.