There is a lot to be said about apps – they have certainly changed the way we interact with computers and phones. However, there is also a lot to be said about economics. And economics is certainly warped when it comes to apps. The rising number of apps being created is only exceeded by the number of downloads. And yet, how many app developers are actually making money?
Here’s the fun part – according to research by analytics firm Localytics, 26% of the apps downloaded are used only once! So, those humongous number of downloads give only half the story for the success of an app. Because the revenue actually comes with consistent usage and not just number of downloads.
And where does consistent usage come from? Increased engagement. How many apps have that? It is, perhaps, time for apps to be measured for engagement rather than downloads. Another survey done last year—a Harris Interactive study by Effective UI – said that 38% of the users were disappointed with the apps created by their favourite brand, and 69% of the users admitted that a negative perception of a brands app translates into a negative impression of the brand. So unless they get it right, brands could actually be harmed by going for an app than benefited.
In the same survey users stressed heavily on the need for the app to be easy to use, do exactly what they want it to do and that it should be well designed. A good user experience is the key to an apps success and the metrics methodologies should be adjusted to measure these instead of just downloads.
With these adjustments, the picture will completely change. And with this changed picture will emerge a different landscape for brands and mobile advertisers to map.