Mobile Messaging Apps Overindex for Retention - eMarketer

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Mobile Messaging Apps Overindex for Retention

Mobile messaging apps led total mobile apps in retention throughout 2014

March 31, 2015

SMS is slowly dying thanks to competition from over-the-top mobile messaging services such as WeChat, and data released in March 2015 by Flurry suggests loyalty among mobile messaging users is high.

Average Retention Rates over the First 12 Months for Mobile Messaging Apps vs. Total Mobile Apps Worldwide, Jan 2014-Jan 2015

According to the research, messaging app retention was higher than that of total mobile apps worldwide between January 2014 and 2015—and the former actually expanded the gap over the course of the year. One month after download, messaging apps saw a retention rate 1.9 times that of the total average, at 68% vs. 38%. By January 2015, mobile messaging apps widened their lead. Fully 62% downloaded in January 2014 were launched at least once 12 months later—5.6 times higher than the 11% for all apps.

Mobile users are in constant communication with others, so it makes sense that mobile messaging apps were also used far more frequently—nearly nine times on an average day. This was 4.7 times the average for all mobile apps, used 1.9 times each day.

Average Retention Rates over the First 12 Weeks for Mobile Apps Worldwide that Do vs. Do Not Interact with Their Users, 12 weeks ending March 2015

It’s not easy for apps to maintain their place on downloaders’ screens. According to data from Apptentive, the average retention rate for mobile apps worldwide just one week after download was 32%. And at the 12-week mark, this dropped to just 11%.

However, the research revealed one key way to boost app retention: interaction post-download. Among apps where the makers proactively reached out to users in some way during the first week of install, the average retention rate was 57%, vs. 25% for those with no interaction. After 12 weeks, mobile apps that interacted with users saw retention of 25%, compared with a mere 7% among those with no interaction.

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