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Almost 1 Out Of 4 Mobile Users Quit Using Mobile Apps After One Try

Almost 1 Out Of 4 Mobile Users Quit Using Mobile Apps After One Try

The Google Play Store is home to more than a couple of million mobile apps, while Apple’s iTunes App Store contains more than 1.5 million. However, a new study on the usage of apps reveal that quite only a small percentage of these apps do actually manage to get installed in smartphones and tablet devices. And out of these installed apps, they are only used once by one out of four mobile users.


The study was conducted by analytics firm Localytics, and the data it collated was gathered from its user base numbering 37,000 applications. Its findings indicate that user retention year over year has slightly improved, from 34 percent in 2015 to 38 percent this year. Based on this increase, one would think that mobile usage has improved overall. But the fact of the matter is: 62 percent of people will use a mobile app less than 11 times.


Localytics further found out that 23 percent of mobile users launch a mobile app only once, never using it again. To be fair, the latest numbers are actually an improvement over last years’ figures. But it bears noting that in 2014, only 20 percent of mobile users were abandoning mobile apps after one try. In other words, it appears to be getting worse.


Going back to user retention, iOS actually improvement on its numbers. The percent of one time using app users decreased from 24 percent this year from 26 percent in 2015. Moreover, those who do use apps at least 11 times increased to 36 percent this year, up from the 32 percent recorded in 2015.


On an interesting note, mobile apps in the middle stage of their growth (i.e. having collected between 15,000 to 50,000 active users) registered the best lift in terms of user retention and abandonment. The reasons for this includes the use of push notifications, in-app messages, email, and remarking. Localytics’ study also found that in-app message also help improve user retention, not only push notifications. Indeed, 17 percent will only use a mobile app once if they see an in-app message, but for those not using messages -- 26 percent of them abandon the mobile app after one try.


The trend uncovered by Localytics should be worrying to app developers, and it appears that the industry itself may have already felt the symptoms. There is even talk that some investors are starting to shy away from investing in app development companies. Still, with information like this, it just might encourage creators of apps to put more effort into making products that actually are useful to mobile users, and not just release an app for the sake of offering something new. It may get people to install it, but maybe not enough to get them to actually use the app over and over.