Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Biggest Problem in App Discovery

In my last blog post about the funnel of viral mobile apps, I wondered about a strange phenomenon: "only 90% of of the people who download your app will actually open it - I'm guessing that people are stockpiling apps for the impending apocalypse."

A reader on Hacker News pointed out that maybe this isn't irrational behavior on the part of users, but attention-span slippage due to the long time it takes to load and install an app. This led me to make this little chart. Experiencing new products on the phone - not just iOS as shown here, but also Android - takes an order of magnitude longer than on the web. It's a problem that we should fix.

8 comments:

Hoon said...

but App store makes "check out this cool new thing" happen more often and the fact that it has been "installed" or "paid for" makes it used more often.

Станислав Воробьёв said...

I'm afraid "Pay" bar is missing. For free apps, it's not a requirement, but even for freemium it would be needed sooner or later. Traditional page with credit card and billing address request would make the process in the first case a lot longer.

Marcus Tucker said...

You should clarify that "mobile" is the process for iOS/iPhone and add the Android process for comparison...

Michael Kariv said...

Great point. Web apps however sometimes, and quite often, require registration. Facebook, twitter, openid help, or google,like in this commenting system, but it is an extra step that needs being accounted for.

Gabor said...

Michael: It's true that some sites need login, but so do apps, and I'm not accounting for login / signup time on mobile either.

So I think this is a fair comparison as it stands.

Titanas said...

Almost 1/4 of the time, according to your diagram, is spent in downloading. This is going to change bopefully soon with LTE. Unfortunately there is not a good enough validation mechanism of who's buying the app, which can be inproved (iOS 6 doesn't ask for passwd for free apps anymore). The web never actually had to deal with this problem in large because most of the stuff were free.. not so much in the near future. 1/4 Time spent for finding an app through the App Store etc can be equal or even less with time spent throughout the day for reading news, checking techmeme, going through emails from friends with suggestions fo this new X cool thing etc. There are things that can be improved, such as authentication and download speed but only when these happen will see other stuff happening, like really interesting app suggestions and automatic installs in the background based on user history of fails and success

shalafi said...

Android does not require you to enter your password EVERY TIME.

Gabor said...

Titanas: iOS 6 still asks for your password for free apps.