Report: Mobile Games Suffer Fastest Drop in User Engagement

A new report from SimilarWeb revealed that mobile games experience a faster drop in user engagement within three months of their installation than other apps.

Digital market intelligence company SimilarWeb released its latest report, which revealed that mobile games experience a faster drop in user engagement within three months of their installation than other applications. Specifically, according to the report, the average app sees its daily user engagement drop to 9 percent within three months of being installed, while games drop to only 3 percent of daily user engagement in the same time frame.

SimilarWeb analyzed data from more than 4 million Android users around the world, and found that while engagement for an app drops within the first three months of its installation, the average app is not actually deleted from a device until it has been installed for at least eight months. This creates what SimilarWeb called a “zombie status” for these apps. The total lifespan of gaming apps was also found to be shorter than the overall average, at seven months.

News and magazine, communication and productivity apps were found to have the highest retention rates.

For specific apps, the report showed that apps like WhatsApp, Yandex Search (a Russian search engine) and MelOn (a South Korean music streaming service) were the least likely to be deleted globally. Specifically, the report found WhatsApp had the lowest uninstall rate, at 6.2 percent. On the other hand, Line Play, an avatar app, had the highest uninstall rate at 71.6 percent.

SimilarWeb App Uninstall Rate

Overall, while gaming retention rates were found to be low, the report did indicate that puzzle and arcade games have better user retention than other types of games.

In a blog post, Joel Zand, content manager and researcher at SimilarWeb, said:

Mobile users have a delicate relationship with apps: They have many, love a few and delete others. An app’s lifespan—from the moment that it’s first installed until the moment it’s removed from a smartphone or tablet—is an inherently complex process.

Users go on a lot of “first dates” with apps but will often decide which ones they want to stop using within the first three to seven days. This means that the real challenge for developers is getting people to fall in love with their apps during that crucial first week.

SimilarWeb’s full report is available here.

Readers: Do your app usage and uninstall habits track with the findings by SimilarWeb?