Mobile analytics and monetization startup, Flurry, has released the results of a study today that sheds light on the difficulty mobile application developers have in retaining users over a long period of time. The study compiled usage retention data over a period of 90 days (in 30 day intervals), 200 million user sessions, apps in 19 separate categories, and across 4 mobile platforms including the iPhone and iPod Touch, Google Android, Blackberry, and JavaME. The results?
The results are fairly intuitive. News, weather and reference applications tend to be the ’stickiest’ as they always have currently relevant content. On the other side of the spectrum are book-related and entertainment applications that tend to be tossed aside after they are completed. Navigation applications sit in the mid-range, closer to having the user retention of news and weather applications. But it’s interesting to note that while user retention for navigation apps sits at 73% after 30 days, it dips all the way to 33% after 60 days, after which it plateaus somewhat. Overall the average navigation app was used 6 times per week.
The lack of navigation app retention in the second month strokes my curiosity a bit. Why such a drop? Is it due to the huge amount of navigation and location-aware mobile apps being released, seemingly on an almost daily basis? Are there too many me-too apps out there? What is it? And whether or not we can pin down the specific reasoning, are there ways mobile developers can make their navigation apps ’stickier’ in order to retain users for longer periods of time? Any thoughts?