App user retention

App User Retention on iOS vs. Android

App analytics company Localytics released new data this week showing that only 4 in 5 mobile apps are opened only once. Most developers would see this number and start to worry. If only 1 in 5 apps are opened twice or more, how does an independent app developer stand a chance??

The truth isn’t as serious as it may seem.

In fact, the number of apps being opened more than once is steadily increasing each year. Last year, the number of apps opened just once was 22%. Four years ago, this number was 26%. Today, that number is down to 20%.

If we break it down in terms of app categories, sports apps and gaming apps have the highest chance of being abandoned after one use. Social networking and weather apps have the highest chance of retaining users past the initial use.

Category chart

As this number continues to decrease, the number of apps opened more than 11 times continues to increase! In 2010, the number of apps opened 11+ times was only at 26%. Today, the number of apps with 11 or more sessions is at an astonishing 39%.

Android developers have an even better outlook. Today, nearly half (45%) of Android apps opened 11+. Compare this to only one-third (34%) for iOS. (Though, iOS devs can take comfort in the increased revenues for iOS)

Platform chart

These changes could be a result of any number of reasons. Today, there are hundreds of thousands more mobile users than there was 4 years ago. Additionally, developers have begun to place even more importance on user engagement through better user retention strategies and a drive to create better, more personalized and targeted apps.

Based on the trends over the last 4 years, developers should expect these numbers to continue to improve as the app market continues to mature, especially with the influx of even more users and even more refined app development techniques.

Want to learn more about user retention strategies? Click here.

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