Why do people install apps and never use them. lahsdigitalworld.wordpress.com

Why people download the best apps but never use them?

Quick question, how many apps do you have installed on your phone? How many of these apps do you use everyday? How many of these apps do you use in a week? How many do you even use at all?. People download apps every day, but many of these apps are only kept on the shelves of their phone’s storage, waiting for dust and rust. Statistics from Think With Google reveal that 1 in 4 installed smartphone apps are never used. 

Why should we even be talking about apps?

Whether you want to know something or want to go somewhere or want to do something or want to buy something, you turn to apps. I bet the first thing you do in the morning before you get out of your bed is to check your WhatsApp, Twitter, or Facebook feed. No doubt, apps have become an integral part of our lives.  We really cannot do without them, can we?

I write about apps every week, probably because I am fascinated by these little beauties and how many problems they can actually solve. Apps may not be able to construct roads or schools, but they can help you learn a new skill or consult a medical doctor from home. Let me tell you a little secret, of all the apps I write about, I only keep a few (my favorites). Even out of the few apps I hold, I still only use a few.  

Here’s evidence of my claim

According to zipwhip, nearly 21 percent of consumers abandon newly downloaded apps after just one use, 77 percent never use an app again 72 hours after installing it. The average consumer has about 36 apps installed on their device but only uses less than 26% daily. So, why do you have 36 apps installed on your phone but only use around 8 of them a day? That’s the point of this article. 

I’ll share some insights into why people download apps but do not use them. We’ll also see what can be done to avoid such an unpleasant situation (both for the mobile app marketer and the app consumer). Do not forget that these apps actually use up significant storage on the consumer’s phone. So we should know why some of those apps are just there; you could learn how to manage your storage.

You may have your own personal reasons, yet there’s much more to explore. Maybe you didn’t really need the app in the first place; you just downloaded it because of someone’s recommendation. What if you didn’t learn how to use the app properly? Have you also thought that you might not really know how to make the most of it? Many times, it’s not even the fault of the consumer. Let’s take a look at some of these reasons in detail.

reasons why people install apps but do not use them. appsuggest.wordpress.com
User abandons apps for many reaons

You’ve abandoned some apps because of other apps.

You must have noticed that you have a regular handful of apps that you often play around with. You spend all your time on these apps. In fact, you’ve made them a habit. For me, it’s mostly social media (Whatsapp, Twitter). It’s almost the same for the average user, including you. This is an attitude that is only explained with psychology. You’ve grown so comfortable around these apps, rotating from one to the other every day. 

reasons why people download apps but do not use them. appsuggest.wordpress.com
Whatsapp, Facebook, twitter

As such, it becomes difficult for an app consumer to switch to a new app or interface. Say you’re so used to your WhatsApp for messaging, and then for some reason, you install telegram on your phone. How often do you think you’ll visit the newly installed telegram app? So, before you fill up your storage with that new app you just saw from an ad, remember this.

The abandoned apps probably do not serve a specific purpose.

People are more likely to use an app that serves them in a particular way. Research from Think With Google reveals that two out of three people will use an app regularly when it makes their lives simple. For example, you’re much likely to return to an app that helps you find jobs and manages your job applications. So before you install an app, as yourself, “of what specific service is this going to be to me?” 

To the mobile app marketer, make sure your target audience is aware of the “specific service” that your app offers. 

Abandoned apps probably do not provide clear instructions for use.

Besides an appealing, user-friendly interface, apps that provide clear instructions for use; keep about 63% of their users coming back. A closed one confessed to have initially abandoned an app as popular as Instagram, simply because they didn’t understand how to use the app at first. You’ve probably abandoned an app because you faced some difficulty using it.

Maybe you just didn’t read the provided documentation properly, or there wasn’t any documentation at all. If there’s a user guide, please go through it before you start complaining about or abandoning an app. App marketers/developers should also endeavor to make a comprehensive user-guide available for their users. 

The abandoned apps are probably not free or too expensive.

The same Think With Google survey of 2015 showed that 3 in 4 users expect apps to be free. I don’t entirely trust this stat, especially in the African context. My belief is, the majority of the app consumers prefer free apps. Once we’re asked to pay for service on an app that we can get elsewhere for free, we simply start finding the uninstall button. 

The abandoned apps probably no longer serve you.

According to Think With Google, 29% of the time, people abandon apps because they no longer need it. 24% of the time, It’s because they find the app not as useful. You downloaded an app when you had some problem, project, assignment, or issue to handle. Maybe you needed to create a graphic for your project, then you downloaded a graphic maker such as Canva. After this use, the app no longer served you in any way. You did not uninstall the app; it’s just sitting there waiting for the day you’ll have another such project. 

In such a situation, you can uninstall the application and then reinstall it whenever need be. It’s also the responsibility of the app developers or app marketers to include features or functionalities that will keep users coming, such as an online community or a business-texting solution. This brings me to my final point;

Abandoned apps are not very engaging

45% of users are willing to return to an app that always has new content. It is definitely so challenging for an app to gain a user’s attention, with so much competition that exists. To reactivate engagement, app marketers can implement discounts, notify users of new features, encourage family, friends, and colleagues of old users to start using the app. For the user, only keep engaging apps.

We’ve discussed some of the pertinent reasons why people install so many apps but only use a few of them. We’ve seen that the average user has about 36 apps installed on their smartphone but only uses about 26% (9) of the apps. Some reasons for these abandonments include; 

-Users no longer needing the app, 

-The app is not free, 

-The app is not engaging, 

– Users do not read the provided user-guide, 

– The app isn’t friendly and easy to use, etc. 


These insights are helpful both to the app user and to the app marketer/developer. The app users now know what to consider before they install an app, what to do to preserve their storage space. App marketers must have learned a thing or two about how to avoid the abandonment of their apps by users. 

Is there any other reason why you would abandon an app? Is there something an app marketer can do to prevent that from happening? Please feel free to use the comment section to share your thoughts. 

You can also reward us by liking the article and sharing it with your friends on social media. Use the share buttons at the bottom of this page. Thank you for reading.

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