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Push notifications do not win over millennials: report

A new report from Voxburner on young people and their attitudes and behaviors when it comes to mobile application usage reveals that 67 percent of millennial users find ads the biggest turn-off.

Apps that take too long to load, named by 45 percent, have too many push notifications, 34 percent, and require login to use an app, 30 percent, were other key reasons apps can be a turn-off for younger demographics.

?A good app, according to those we surveyed, is one that is useful or fun,? said Luke Mitchell, head of insight at Voxburner.

?If testing your app with users, measuring these factors should be a priority, as young people are time poor and impatient.?

?Bombard them with notifications, block their view with ads or deliver an unstable product and you?ll lose them. Focus on a developing a great app and delivering a strong user experience,? he said.

New implications
Results were drawn from a survey of 1,001 16-24 year olds in Britain to discover the details of their app life.

Approximately 28 percent of respondents say they always turn off push notifications as soon as they download an app, while 60 percent say they will turn them off if they get too many notifications, and 43 percent say that negative reviews will have an impact on whether they decide to download an app.

The majority of users in this group, 73 percent, have a core number of 1 - 10 apps that they use on a weekly basis, despite 53 percent saying they have more than 30 apps downloaded on their phone in total. 14 percent of respondents have over 50 apps downloaded, while 4 percent have more than 100.

It is social networking apps, named by 81 percent, and game apps, 70 percent, that are used the most often - Tumblr, Spotify, YouTube and BBC all feature highly. Weather apps, included in so many default installations, are popular, with 42 percent of those surveyed using them actively each week.

Women are more interested in health and fitness apps and photo and video apps, while men are using sports and entertainment apps more than women. Blackboard and Evernote were mentioned specifically by students or recent graduates as the top app that helped them throughout the school year.

Surprising findings
The level of spending on in-app purchases was a surprise to Voxburner with over half of consumers surveyed having spent $3 or more in the past on some kind of in-app feature or bonus.

With 76 percent saying they are put off downloading apps that cost money, it seems that an in-app model could be the best way forward for marketers targeting the millennial demographic. And with 59 percent addicted to some extent with their apps, there is money to be made by those that prove their value.

The best apps are those that solve a problem and stand the test of time that users rely on regularly because they improve the overall experience of using a smartphone. Some apps entice a download but then remain neglected until that inevitable day when storage space is low and it is time for a ruthless deleting spree.

Young people rightly have high expectations when it comes to giving away a prime spot on their homescreen and expect quality apps that deliver genuine value, keeping them coming back for more.

Companies that want to grow their teenage fan base must have integrity, credibility and not rest on their laurels for a moment.

?The big news for app marketers and developers is that 16-24s are not as frugal as some might expect,? Mr. Mitchell said. ?They will spend money on things that matter to them.?

?In other areas of their lives young people may be cautious and economical, but when it comes to apps, if they can see that the app will make life easier or more fun, they?ll invest in it,? he said.

 Final Take
Michelle is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York