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I totally agree that total DL's isn't a very useful number - It's too bad that MAU/WAU/DAU isn't more readily available :)
I don't really understand why she's offering Viddy, Socialcam, and Draw Something as examples that don't hold to Fred's 30% standard - they're all notable due to their recent, massive drops in traffic and engagement (versus Fred's 30%, which I'm assuming reflects healthy products with sustainable engagement).
Also, going back to the initial quote that she starts with - "distribution is much harder on mobile... you need to master the “download app, use app, keep using app, put it on your home screen” flow and that is a hard one to master” - getting enough people to the 'download app' step is still the hardest for most, not the 'keep using app' step.
Retention is a measure of such a fundamental user behavior that I can't agree that it's the biggest "problem" in mobile, since retention is in no way specific to mobile: if a user doesn't return to a product, mobile or otherwise, the platform isn't being indicted, the product is. To that end, I'd say the biggest "problem" in mobile is still discovery and distribution, but some developers are experiencing transition pain when trying to replicate the retention profiles they achieved on the desktop. This isn't a retention problem, though, it's an adaptation problem, and it is in no way reflective of mobile as a platform.
Agreed. Retention is a product problem, not a result of the platform your product is built on (unless that platform is driving user dissatisfaction by driving crashes etc, but that is not the case for major mobile platforms such as iOS and Android)