Let's compare retention rates...

In an earlier thread someone mentioned retention rates as a factor google may employ to determine how good your app is. I thought this made perfect sense and I spent some time thinking about reasons users may uninstall my app and I made some changes accordingly. But what I’d like to know now is how to compare my retention rates with other people’s. Is there a standard way to measure it? One thing you can’t do is simply look at the current users divided by all time downloads because this is certain to decrease the longer your app has been on the market. Perhaps its the ratio of keepers to uninstallers over the past N days where N is some small number… (maybe just 1?)

If someone can suggest a formula, then we could all compare our ratio’s and see how we’re doing.

I just so happens that both my sheep dog app as well as my other game tangle twister employ flurry analitics (see flurry.com). I hadn’t really considered the “retention” section of the analytics until today. It seems they define retention as the percentage of users (for a given first-usage date) to have used the app within the past week. This means that the retention rate is actually a series of numbers rather than a single value. It also means that for every start date within the past 7 days, the retention rate is automatically 100%. So the interesting values to look at are the percentage that have used the app in the past 7 days, out of those that first used the app 8,9,10,11… days ago. My figures for my two apps is as follows:

Sheep Dog Pro:

day 8: 41%
day 9: 45%
day 10: 29%
day 11: 32%
day 12: 21%
day 13: 21%
day 14: 20%

Tangle Twister:

day 8: 40%
day 9: 36%
day 10: 19%
day 11: 19%
day 12: 19%
day 13: 17%
day 14: 12%

Currently I have little clue as to whether these figures are good or bad. If anyone else is using flurry, would you care to share some stats?

WordHero retention for the last month according to Flurry…



I can only speak about games, which usually have a bit lower retention rate than, say, utility apps.

From what we can see in games using our platform (Dataspin), average 1 Day retention* is usually around 40-45%, 7 Day 15-20% and 28 Day 7-12%. I’ve shared a simple Google Docs spreadsheet [b]here[/b], it shows how we measure retention. If you have any comments, please let me know, it would be great to get your perspective on that.

Again, this is for games only, from what other people say on forums or Quora, these numbers should be a bit higher for non-gaming apps.

Hope it helps.

  • The use a industry standard definition of retention, ie. if on day 0 100 users downloaded my app and on day 1 60 used it, my 1 Day retention is 60%. So it is basically average of all daily cohorts.