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New data shows losing 80% of mobile users is normal, and why the best apps do better

Stashed in: Mobile!, Awesome, MOBILE, Mobile Ads!, Android, Mobile Dev!

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90% loss after 30 days for mobile apps.

That seems hard to recover from. No wonder onlya few communication apps and games do well.

In a recent essay covering the Next Feature Fallacy, I explained why shipping “just one more feature” doesn’t fix your product. The root cause is that the average app has pretty bad retention metrics


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.


Bending the curve happens via activation, not notification spam.

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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