Nobody’s really arguing anymore over whether the future will be mobile. Apps have become one of the primary ways we engage ideas, each other, and the world around us. This trend is only expected to increase in the future, so right now app development is as hot as the surface of the sun and getting hotter every day. However, to say competition is fierce in the app world is a massive understatement.
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In an article published on his website, Silicon Valley analyst Andrew Chen attests that the average app loses 77 percent of its users in the three days after they install it. After a month, 90 percent of users eventually stop using the app, and by the 90-day mark, only 5 percent of users continue using a given app. These crushing figures mean that app creators are having to make sure that their users stay connected (but not annoyed by) their apps from minute one to three months down the line.
Chen draws his data from over 125M mobile phones, and the apps he studied were all available from the Google Play Store and had over 10,000 downloads. He excluded Google’s apps for the purpose of this study. One of the conclusions he draws from this data is that apps that fair well on this curve are those that encourage ongoing activation from the user, but which don’t send “We miss you” emails to try to get back into their lost users’ lives. Basically, the same strategies that fail with your ex-girlfriend also fail with your app. The most successful apps are those which people use on such a regular basis that these users can’t imagine getting on without them.
What are your thoughts regarding this colossal app drop rate? How many times have you downloaded an app just to play around with it for a minute, before forgetting about it almost immediately? Let us know your opinions, and also which apps you can’t imagine living without in the comments below.