Matrix: Reboot: Flurry's new application engagement report

    Flurry, a mobile app analytics firm, has released an updated version of its most popular study, first published three years ago. In a previous report, Mobile Applications: Money, Models, and Affection, the company conducted an in-depth analysis of user affection in app categories. Today, Flurry does it again, focusing on more than 700,000 applications running on the iPhone, iPad, and already the iPad Mini.

    As in the original report, Flurry again displayed the categories of applications on the chart, according to their frequency of use. For the purposes of this study, Flurry used a 90-day retention window (displayed on the X-axis) and frequency of use per week (on the Y-axis).

    The data array includes statistics on applications that were used more than 1.7 billion times a week. Flurry has access to many application data, as 80,000 companies now use the Flurry Analytics offer in their 230,000 applications. The categories used for the new comparison were mainly inherited from the Apple App Store. However, Flurry divided some applications into their own categories. Thus, for example, they divided the "Social Games" and "Single-player games."

    The results are divided into four sectors:

    • Sector 1: Applications that are heavily used and to which users remain loyal throughout the time. News and chat apps are located here, as they have a stable, growing audience and the best positioning for profit from advertising or paid subscriptions, Flurry reports. These applications are enduring to consumers.
    • Sector 2: Applications that are heavily used for a limited period of time. These are applications whose importance is increasing irregularly - they include music applications, dating applications and social games. For example, dating apps are no longer needed if you have already entered into a relationship using them.
    • Sector 3: Applications that are rarely used and have a high user outflow. Here are applications for personalization (to change the background or wallpaper of the home screen). Such applications are rarely used after a one-time setup. These applications need a paid usage model in order to get paid from users before they get access to the content.
    • Sector 4: Applications that are rarely used, but provide great benefit during use. These applications remain on the users home screen indefinitely. For example, applications for booking hotel rooms, airline tickets, car rental: they are not used constantly, but their value grows when the user goes on a trip.

    As you can see from the graph above, each sector contains many other categories of applications that can be assigned to different sectors. For example, the categories "Productivity" and "Business" are between sectors 3 and 4.

    By looking at applications distributed across sectors, developers can determine the appropriate business model for them. Sectors 1 and 4 are suitable for subscription models or ad-supported models, while 2 and 3 are for download after a one-time payment, Flurry says. Also, sectors 2 and 4 (upper left and lower right) are best suited for shopping within the application. In sector 2, developers can offer users additional content or additional functions during periods of heavy use, while in sector 4, returning users can be encouraged with new content or functions during their repeated visits.

    Flurry compared its data with data from a 2009 report and found that 90-day retention levels increased from 25% to 35%, while frequency of use decreased from 6.7 to 3.7. The retention rate has become higher due to the increased quality of applications, Flurry suspect, but their frequency of use is falling due to the large number of available applications, forcing users to spray their time between their increasing number. In 2009, there were only 19 categories of applications, today there are already 30 of them.

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