Localytics App Stickiness Index:
Q2 2014

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What is the Localytics App Stickiness Index?

The Localytics App Stickiness Index is a way to measure how well apps are tackling the challenges of engagement and avoiding churn, in aggregate. The App Stickiness Index is a composite of two key app metrics: Power Users and Loyal Users.

Key Terms

  • Power Users: % of an app's users who have 10+ sessions in a month, i.e. how many highly engaged users an app has.
  • Loyal Users: % of an app's users who return to the app within 3 months of their first session, which is the industry benchmark to measure loyalty and churn.
  • App Stickiness: Average of an app's Power Users and Loyal Users.
  • App Burnout: When an app's Power Users are significantly greater than its Loyal Users. Users will download an app, use it many times in a short period, then stop using it when they have reached an 'engagement ceiling' with the app.

By taking into account both user engagement and user loyalty, "App Stickiness" provides a single metric that is applicable to all apps. You can use the Index to benchmark your own App's Stickiness over time and across platforms and verticals. By understanding the context and triggers that influence app engagement and loyalty in aggregate, you can then analyze your own user insights in order to adapt and refine your app engagement strategies.

Q2 2014 App Stickiness Update:

  • For Overall App Stickiness, the App Burnout trend continues (especially in Games and Technology)
  • Media and Entertainment vertical continues to have the greatest App Stickiness, with the Technology vertical having the lowest
  • Android and iOS continue to track equally, but iOS has equalized with Android in Power Users and remains higher for Loyal Users

Overall App Stickiness Index Remains Constant

As the second half of 2014 begins, it's time to see how app users are behaving.
Localytics' latest App Stickiness Index update for Q2 2014 indicates that overall App Stickiness remained constant at 22%.

Localytics App Stickiness Index December 2011 - June 2014

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  •  Power Users
  •  Loyal Users
  •  App Stickiness

Since 2011, the percentage of Power Users has traditionally been greater than the percentage of Loyal Users. An emerging trend is that Power Users and Loyal Users are diverging even more, indicating App Burnout.

Localytics observed that Power Users increased 1% from Q1 to Q2 and Loyal Users decreased 2% over that same period. This indicates that the App Burnout trend is continuing across all apps, and is especially prevalent in the Technology and Games verticals [more on this later]. One way to combat App Burnout is to better understand your users and their behavioral patterns, as well as your app's strengths and weaknesses, so you can keep users more engaged.


Media & Entertainment continues to lead App Stickiness

Media and Entertainment has consistently had the greatest App Stickiness Index dating back to Q3 2013. This quarter, Media and Entertainment App Stickiness stood at 22%.

Localytics App Stickiness Index by Vertical December 2011 - June 2014

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  •  eCommerce & Retail
  •  Games
  •  Media & Entertainment
  •  Technology
  •  Travel & Lifestyle

The Media and Entertainment vertical includes music and social media apps, which tend to drive repeat usage, so it is not surprising that this category has the highest relative App Stickiness Index. Technology apps had the lowest App Stickiness at 16%, followed by Games apps at 19%, at the end of Q2 2014. Technology apps, such as a timer or calculator, are less likely to engage users for repeated use because they are designed to complete a specific function. Games apps need to find ways to engage the user after the game has been completed, otherwise the user has no reason to go back into the app.


iOS App Stickiness Slightly Higher than Android

Historically, Android and iOS have tracked extremely close to one another in App Stickiness.

Localytics App Stickiness Index by Platform December 2011 - June 2014

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  •  Android
  •  iOS
  •  Other

iOS has slightly higher App Stickiness at 28%, but the two platforms are close with Android at 26%. Other platforms continue to decrease in App Stickiness, reaching an all-time low of 10% in Q2 2014.

Android and iOS Power Users are Equal at 32%

Power users has traditionally been greater on the Android platform, but it looks like this trend may be ending.

App Stickiness by Platform: Power Users December 2011 - June 2014

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  •  Android
  •  iOS
  •  Other

For the first time since Localytics began tracking the percentage of Power Users across device platforms, Android and iOS are equal at 32%. This means that no matter the platform, 32% of users go into apps 10 or more times in a month at the end of Q2 2014.

iOS Still Leads for Loyal Users

Loyalty however, continues to trend in iOS's favor. At the end of Q2 2014, loyalty for iOS was at 24% versus Android's 21%.

App Stickiness by Platform: Loyal Users December 2011 - June 2014

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  •  Android
  •  iOS
  •  Other

Essentially this means that on average, 24% of users in iOS still used the app three months after first download, whereas Android three month retention was 21%. Other platforms continue to bottom out, reaching a new low of 9%.

Continue to check back for more App Stickiness insights and analysis!