Three Reasons Why Retention Is The 'Biggest Problem In Mobile'

Cristina Cordova

Photo: Cristina Cordova

Retaining users on mobile apps is no easy feat. Cristina Cordova, who works in business development for mobile payments startup Stripe, said last month that user retention is “the biggest problem in mobile.” She noted how mobile-only apps that initially gained a lot of traction, like Path, Viddy, and Draw Something, eventually fell off.

Even with analytics tools like Flurry, MixPanel, and Apsalar, Cordova recently argued that it’s still hard for developers to fully understand retention. Here’s why:

  1. Mobile developers don’t know where their downloads come from
  2. Mobile developers don’t know when users delete their apps
  3. Mobile developers don’t know why users leave

That’s because the App Store and Google Play provide little information about how users discover and interact with certain apps.

“Unfortunately, much of the data that would allow developers to make more informed decisions to improve retention is locked up by the mobile platforms,” Cordova writes. “It’s not that running a sustainable audience or business on mobile is impossible, you’re just starting a few steps behind.”

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