Localytics: User Retention Falls in Q4 2014

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App marketing and analytics platform, Localytics, has released its newest indexes, measuring app engagement, app launches and more during the fourth quarter of 2014. The company’s Q4 App Stickiness Index showed user engagement peaked in December, as the number of users who use the same app more than 10 times per month reached 30 percent. However, overall user retention (measured as the percentage of users returning to an app within three months of their first session) declined during the quarter, ending the year at 12 percent.

Localytics attributes this decline to the number of users who abandon apps (don’t re-download them) when they’ve switched to a new device or have upgraded their operating system. The Index showed Media and Entertainment to have the highest app “stickiness,” at 26 percent, a four percent increase over Q3 2014. The overall stickiness of an app is the average of the app’s engagement and retention.

When looking at the entirety of 2014, Business Productivity and Technology apps experienced the most improvement last year, starting at 15 percent stickiness, and increasing to 23 percent by the end of the year.

In terms of app launches, the Localytics Q4 App Launches Index (which measures the average number of times an individual app is launched per month) found users are opening apps more than 10 times per month, which is consistent with data from last quarter. This is an increase year-over-year, as the average number of app launches per month was 8.6 in early 2013, and just seven in 2012.

As users traveled during the Fall and Winter holiday season, Travel and Leisure apps experienced the biggest increase in app launches, growing from an average of 10 per month in Q3 to 12 per month in Q4. Games, on the other hand, had the lowest number of launches per month for the quarter, at just fewer than eight.

“The high volume of new device launches and increased marketing campaigns in Q4 presents both opportunity and risk for app engagement,” said Raj Aggarwal, CEO of Localytics, in a statement. “The winners were apps that invested in understanding their users’ behaviors and then delivered personalized interactions and content. This type of smart marketing forges positive app ‘habits,’ ensuring the loyalty of users even as they upgrade to a new iOS or start using a new device.”

Localytics’ Indexes are compiled by analyzing 28,000 apps across more than 1.5 billion devices. You can view the complete Q4 Indexes here.

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