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Study: Mobile Users Will Go On Roughly 4 Dates With Apps Before Breaking Up
More than 90 percent of users expect apps to play a larger role in the future.
If a new survey from Localytics is correct, apps will figure more prominently in future user behavior, but their success is contingent on getting the user experience right. The company polled 1,000 smartphone owners and found that 92 percent “expect to use apps more or the same in the future.”
Users are impatient and fickle, and apps have a limited time to grab and keep a user’s attention or be relegated to the uninstall bin. The survey found that people will try out apps an average of 4.5 times before abandoning. Yet nearly 30 percent of users said they would try apps only one or two times.
As the old commercial says, “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.” More accurately, perhaps, app developers appear to get four dates before users break up with them.
The top reason that people uninstalled apps was that they no longer had a need for the app in question. The study doesn’t explain this in much detail, but one can imagine a car-shopping app or a real estate app being uninstalled after the relevant purchase is made or goal accomplished. One can also imagine entertainment, travel or event-based apps being uninstalled after those experiences are completed.
After that, boredom was the biggest reason people got rid of their apps, followed by technical issues and the need to free up storage.
The survey also showed that the majority of users want more personalization and more robust functionality from their apps. The following were the capabilities desired or expected most from the apps of the future:
- More functionality to reduce the need to use multiple apps.
- The ability to seamlessly connect online and real world experiences.
- Content personalized to user preferences, needs and/or location.
- Ability to anticipate preferences and needs (see Google Now).
The chart below shows the “most requested” forms of personalization revealed by the survey. It implies a much greater use of data by publishers and marketers to meet these desires. That, in turn, requires transparency and a more direct dialogue with users, who are often “creeped out” by tracking and other data mining tactics.
Localytics says that users launch apps an average of 15 times per day and use roughly 18 apps per month. By comparison, comScore found that users engage with an average 25 apps per month but spend roughly 80 percent of their time with three favorite apps.