Don’t fret! Losing 80% of your mobile app users is normal

Anne Freier | January 20, 2016

App Marketing


According to a new analysis by Andrew Chen in partnership with mobile intelligence firm, Quettra, the average app loses almost 80% of its Daily Active Users (DAU) within just 3 days after installation. After a month, this figure drops to 90% of DAUs lost. Users continue to drop a further 5% after 90 days.

Average retention of Android apps shows a sharp decline in DAU after three days



Only very few apps in the Google Play Store manage to accumulate a large user base.

Ankit Jain, Founder and CEO, Quettra, explains:

ankit jain

“Users try out a lot of apps but decide which ones they want to ‘stop using’ within the first 3-7 days. For ‘decent’ apps, the majority of users retained for 7 days stick around much longer. The key to success is to get the users hooked during that critical first 3-7 day period.”

However, when taking a closer look at how the top apps perform, it fast becomes apparent that no app is spared the post-installation usage decline. Even the top 100 apps show the same pattern: users download an app, and usage drops off within the first 3-7 days. Note that loss of DAUs doesn’t automatically mean these users are completely inactive all of a sudden, but refers to a general drop in usage.

Retention rates are similar across the top 100 apps



Andrew Chen, says:

andrew chen

“To me, this is further validation that the best way to bend the retention curve is to target the first few days of usage, and in particular the first visit. That way, users set up themselves up for success. Although the data shown today relates to mobile apps, I’ve seen data for desktop clients and websites, and they all look the same. So whether you’re building a mobile app or something else, the same idea applies.”

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