App Retention Declines, User Engagement Rises

It’s getting harder out there for app developers. Since last year, the average retention rate and sessions per user have both declined, according to a new report from Adjust.

On the bright side, average user engagement has increased among remaining users, according to the European mobile attribution and analytics firm.

“The most important users for app developers to acquire have a high level of commitment,” Christian Henschel, co-founder and CEO of adjust, notes in a new report.

“Developers need to focus more on optimizing apps for usability and user experience in order to keep users in the long term,” according to Henschel. “Especially improving re-engagement among lost users can be a key competitive advantage.”

Potential reasons for the decline include more intense competition from more apps per category, decreasing attention spans among consumers, increased obstructions in apps -- like login problems -- and technical glitches.

For its findings, Adjust said it measured more than 12,000 apps.

The most commonly used apps remain social networks, utilities, games and news, while the least used apps were related to business, lifestyle and e-commerce apps.

Contrary to previous trends, users are spending more time on usage within apps compared to last year, Adjust found. From a few seconds up to half a minute, users are spending more time on the seventh day in apps than over 2015, it reports.

On average, a user spends five minutes per session in an app, especially apps in this categories games, messaging, social networks and utilities.
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