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Localytics Reveals That App Users Are Getting More Loyal, Especially iOS Users

A new report by Localytics shows that more users are sticking with their apps, and iOS users are more likely to stick with apps than Android users are.

Where in 2010, 26% of users would open up an app once, and the same percentage would use it 11+ times, now only 22% launch an app just once, and 31% will use it 11+ times. This may show that users over time are either starting to find apps that they would show an interest in using long-term, or app quality is starting to increase. The long-term trend will be interesting to see: will users continue to come back to their apps? Or is this a temporary blip?

While this seems like a good thing for app developers on the surface, it could be interpreted as a dangerous sign for the app market at large. The increase in user retention could be because the number of new ideas for apps is shrinking, so users are settling in with the apps they know. As well, with mobile growing the way that it is, more developers could be competing over niches that are getting less crowded. Think about the Twitter landscape on iOS: it has stagnated extremely with the free official Twitter app, and Tweetbot available as the paid choice for advanced users.

There’s another part of this study too, as it reveals that Android users are less likely to return to apps than iOS users. Only 23% Android users in 2011 returned to an app 11+ times compared to 35% for iOS. As well, one-time-use rates on Android are 24% compared to iOS’ 21%.

Localytics speculates that this could be partially an issue with user registration, because iPhone users are more likely to stick with iPhone than Android users are to stick with Android, 94% to 47%, so some iPhone users could wind up being double-counted. Potentially, those buying new phones may be more likely to use apps frequently on their phones, and could be skewing the repeat user rate upwards.

Whether it’s a case of app quality, or just the characteristics of each userbase coming to light, there’s definitely something different in the way that iOS and Android users use their apps.

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Carter Dotson
Connect with Carter Dotson // email // twitter

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