Research: What Mobile Apps Have The Best Retention?

flurry_logoWith so many apps available from so many different mobile platforms, which app categories and genres usually retain the most usage and downloads over the long-haul?  Flurry, a leading mobile analytic solution, decided to conduct some research to find out once and for all.

Flurry used a 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 and JavaME platforms to represent a even analysis of the entire mobile app segment.

To shed light on the kinds of applications that tend to be used over a longer period of time, Flurry studied user retention across 19 categories over a 90-day period.  Researchers monitored if consumers returned to use a downloaded application within 30, 60 and 90-day periods, as well as how frequently consumers used applications over those time periods.  Flurry measures 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.

Most likely coming as no surprise, apps that contain news or reference content such as dictionaries, recipes, etc. had the highest user retention of all apps and was found to provide nearly infinite value over time to its users, while entertainment or “gimmick” apps, such as the iPhone’s lighter app for instance, provides little to no value over the long-term and is likely only used a few times after its downloaded and then forgotten.

Social Networking (which includes both social networks and all major instant messaging clients), Productivity (e.g., List, Drawing, Wi-Fi Finder apps), Navigation and Medical apps were found to remain on a consumer’s handset for a long period of time, but get used only occasionally.  Unlike “gimmick” apps, they are perceived as having sustainable value and therefore consistently revisited over time.