Mobile App’onomy – Mobile users aren’t Loyal to Cool Apps

Mobile Apps are in-vogue and if you have a smartphone, you probably install every damn widget/app that you will come across. The question to ponder is how many of these installed apps do you really use? You probably downloaded some of those cool apps in the ‘heat of the moment’ and lost interest in a week or so.

Flurry, a mobile app analytics company has shared interesting data on app download vs. usage and here are a few interesting insights –


Quadrant I is comprised of the most frequently used apps over the longest period of time; categories like News and Reference (e.g., Dictionaries, Thesauruses, Recipes, etc.)

Quadrant III is the entertainment category – one which least retention and frequency of usage.

Quadrant II – is mostly a loyal category, and reflects hobbies/passions of individuals.

Quadrant IV – reflects apps that are used on-demand. These are ‘hygiene’ apps that one needs to have in the mobile, but uses it when the need arrives.

What about App Retention?

Loyalty_by_AppCategory_Table[1] Flurry measured user retention by the number of users who downloaded an application, at any time in the past, and used that app within the last seven days.

News apps beat the ‘gimmicky’ ones when it comes to retention (maybe because they are refreshed regularly?), while people lose interest in gaming apps over a longer period.

The important inference one can draw from this chart is on pricing.

Quadrants I and IV (the right-hand side) are better suited, on average, to subscription (if supported by the respective app storefront) and advertising-supported models. The main reason is that these apps have perceived enduring value by consumers over a long period of time, and therefore more successfully retain their user bases. For ad-supported apps, this high repeat usage translates into more ad impressions served. Categories on the left-hand side, Quadrants II and III, are better suited for one-time download fees. Those apps may provide higher immediate satisfaction to users but their content, once consumed, rapidly loses their value.- source

Though this data is US centric (sample size of over 2,00 live applications and over 200 million user sessions tracked each month across Apple (iPhone and iPod Touch), Google Android, Blackberry, JavaME platforms), one can derive insights on the overall usage/behavior of people (In India, religious content has sold in huge numbers) and price their app accordingly.

What’s your take on this report?

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