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News apps lead the way for iPad customer engagement


Steve Costello

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App analytics firm Localytics said that iPad users spend the longest periods of time reading news, listening to music, and accessing health and fitness apps.

Based on data from apps using its technology, users spend more than two-and-a-half times as much time on news apps than apps in general. Other categories recording above-average usage time include music apps (228 percent of the average), health and fitness apps (210 percent) and reference apps (162 percent).

The company noted that iPad users spend shorter-than-expected periods of time playing games and interacting with their entertainment apps. It suggested that “iPads and tablets appear to be very conducive to deeper, more information-packed experiences,” and that iPad users “appear to be playing short, more casual games, rather than in-depth time-consuming ones.”

Moving on to the average number of app sessions per month, while news apps still rank near the top of the list, “games apps dominate in an impressive fashion.” It notes that “sports and entertainment apps remain relatively poor at generating user engagement; despite long user sessions, reference apps appear to be rarely used; and the iPad’s reputation as a reading and gaming device appears well deserved.”

The company said that knowledge of the levels of interaction offer an important message to app marketers: “know your audience, and pick the right type of app to generate the most engagement possible.”

Localytics suggests that “depending on what your app does, this presents opportunities perhaps to increase usage frequency by adding a game, or to increase engagement length by adding a solid news section.”

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