Most consumers close app launching after phone unlock in less than 10 seconds

Anne Freier

In Mobile Advertising. April 25, 2019

Apps that are automatically relaunched as soon as a smartphone is unlocked tend to be closed in less than 1o seconds 50% of the time, according to new research from Verto Analytics.

The finding highlights that mobile carriers and device makers could be missing out on an important opportunity to improve the user experience when consumers unlock their phones as this also represents a point in time when user attention is particularly high.

The research also found that push notifications did not lead to satisfactory content discovery with less than 2% of device unlocks resulting in engagement with notifications from apps.

“Consumers unlock their devices almost 50 times a day, and because smartphones typically launch the app most recently used, it is very important to understand the beginning of the mobile unlock journey and how those apps can recapture user attention effectively,” said Vinayak Nair, VP of custom research and analytics, Verto Analytics. “This is the next big mobile battlefront. Expect more players to enhance their products as they battle for the power of grabbing attention immediately at unlock.”

However, there are a number of apps including Facebook and messengers which benefit from being relaunched after unlock. Roughly 16% of Facebook usage comes from being relaunched at unlock.

Messaging and social apps tend to be responsible for over 100 unlock engagement opportunities per month per user. This demonstrates that these apps have an opportunity to expand their impact in content discovery.

Similarly, browsers tend to be relaunched 50x a month at unlock.

Consumers tend to have 75 apps installed on their devices, but use only 25 per month.

According to Verto Analytics, the apps that ranked highest for engagement at unlock were MetroZone, Smartnews, Whatsapp, Snapchat and Facebook.

Additionally, the report revealed age differences when it comes to unlock rates with post-millennials unlocking their smartphones 79x per day – more often than any other age group.