App developers, beware: it looks like all that stuff we’ve heard about crucial first impressions applies in this arena, too. New stats indicate that 26 percent of the apps downloaded in 2010 were used just once, meaning people are rather quick to dismiss things that don’t impress them right away.
That finding comes courtesy of Localytics, and users are getting pickier as time goes by, too. Brian Suthoff, VP of Market Development, explained, “[F]or customers using an app for the first time between January and March, about 22% of them never open the app again. In the second and third quarters, the rate of one-time usage is flat at 26%. One-time usage grows to over 28% in the fourth quarter . . .”
That’s a little scary in terms of developers not seeing ad revenue. It also has nasty implications for the future of apps, if devs start to feel they need to introduce every app with some attention-grabbing gimmick.
Suthoff wrote, “On the other hand, having 74% of new customers go on to use your app at least once more is pretty encouraging.” Plus, he pointed out, “[C]ustomers seem very willing to give new apps a try – it took only two weeks for 8th grader Robert Nay’s Bubble Ball to unseat Angry Birds.”
So don’t entirely give up on the idea of retaining users without resorting to cheap stunts.