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Summary:

A study suggests that apps downloaded through incentives are largely abandoned or uninstalled, providing little long-term benefit to the app developers who use these app distribution campaigns. According to a Harris online survey, only 3 percent of apps downloaded through incentivized install campaigns are used frequently.

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The practice of inducing users to download an app by offering them virtual goods or currency in a mobile game got knocked around earlier this year when Apple banned the practice for new and updated iOS apps because the campaigns apparently gamed the App Store rankings. But the practice continues to live on other platforms including Android, which is becoming a force for developers.

But a new study suggests that apps downloaded through incentives are largely abandoned or uninstalled, providing little long-term benefit to the app developers who use these app distribution campaigns. According to a Harris online survey on behalf of mobile ad provider Pontiflex, only 3 percent of apps downloaded through incentivized install campaigns are used frequently.

Of the remaining 97 percent, 62 percent of users never use an incentivized app again after downloading it including 37 percent who uninstalled an app after receiving a reward and 25 percent, who only used an app once to redeem the incentive. Another 17 percent also said they hardly ever use an app after downloading via an incentive while 18 percent said they occasionally use the app.

Now, the numbers could be questioned because of the sponsor of the survey Pontiflex, which has its own app distribution tool called Pontiflex AppLeads. But it nonetheless raises some interesting questions about the long-term value of incentivized install campaigns. They can be still be good for providing a download boost. And they  can also be a good revenue source for developers and publishers who run these ad campaigns in their apps. But for developers who are trying to not only gain downloads but monetize them after the fact, the survey data suggests that can be a tough process.

It shouldn’t be surprising. Dangling virtual currency in exchange for downloading an app can entice a lot of people but doesn’t mean they will use the app. And in many cases, it seems like people have little interest in apps beyond redeeming their reward. This is important for developers because if the abandonment rate is extremely high, there’s a decreased chance of getting users to pay for in-app purchases or monetize them through mobile ad impressions.

The survey also found that only 7 percent of smartphone users and 15 percent of tablet users who download free apps said that they prefer video ads that take over your screen and force you to watch a video. And about one third of users — 35 percent of smartphone and 34 percent of tablet owners — expressed concerns that mobile video ads will increase their data costs. This might be troubling for rich media ads, which have fetched higher impression rates but may not be as attractive to end users.

Again, this is helpful for Pontiflex, which offers simple sign-up ads that let people choose which companies they want to communicate with. But it raises questions about what consumers want in their mobile ads. Obviously, most people would like to avoid ads. But they may not be as enamored with big videos and animation after they get used to the novelty, at least if you believe Pontiflex. There’s still room for many ideas in mobile monetization and marketing but it’s still early and it’s unclear what model will work best longterm with mobile users.

  1. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/9Y6tEUTU

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  10. RT @gigaom: Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/ndEuVlGf

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  11. [DocDocc] Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/6Ji6kBXG via gigaOM

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  12. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/lHFrPVdG #business #midlandsconsultingcentre #

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  13. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/DNVU3oMX via Ryan Kim

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  14. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/N8xsaVyQ

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  15. RT @gigaom: Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/ndEuVlGf

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  16. gigaom: Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/lzzNUtIR

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  17. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives – GigaOm http://t.co/TbkU7COy

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  19. Interesting read => RT @gigaom: Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/Phdr6nps #smartphone #marketing

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  28. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives: A study suggests that apps downloaded through ince… http://t.co/AIycR3I0 #gigaom

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  30. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/hR7caM0H @amarchugg #news

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  32. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives: A study suggests that apps downloaded through … http://t.co/gUYLbanm via @gigaom

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  40. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/jwpMEhQG (via @gigaom)

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  42. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives: A study suggests that apps downloaded through … http://t.co/IpQEAf8y Via. GigaOM

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  46. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/3wk6dXK2 #technology

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  47. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/NndzYQu4 Via @gigaom

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  48. RT @gigaom: Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/ndEuVlGf

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  49. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/vSaQnGs6

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  50. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/FkkW88VL

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  51. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/WhXVKh0o

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  52. RT @gigaom: Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/ndEuVlGf

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  53. Incentivise *use* not downloads RT @gigaom Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/aTjwRZX8

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  54. RT @filos: Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/WhXVKh0o

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  55. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/23Cvrglx

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  56. 앱 프로모션하는 분들에게 의미있는 통계네요. 쿠폰, 경품 등 이벤트가 별 도움이 안 된다는 얘기ㅜㅠRT @gigaom: Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/ALgxEhX4

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  57. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/DEQJPtsA #business #sourcemarketingdirect

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  58. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/qTua9eg1 #livemarketingdirect #sales #success #business

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  59. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives: The survey also found that only 7 percent of smartphone us… http://t.co/AgvECj3y

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  60. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/O5PhJhFk #BYOD

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  61. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/FF4tT3PJ #BYOD

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  65. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives: The practice of inducing users to… http://t.co/IbkARPPR

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  66. RT @gigaom: Survey: Users abandon #apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/H22fo4iv

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  68. @earth2tech: Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/rkZukX8Q

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  69. #obvio Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/lpFmORXf

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  70. RT @gigaom: Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/ndEuVlGf

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  71. #tech #news Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/rNou2ojs

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  72. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives: 12, 2011, 9:00pm PT No Comments The practice of inducing u… http://t.co/KkZL1xZu

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  77. Really good read RT @gigaom: Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/nnhX6UKe

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  78. RT @gigaom: Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/ndEuVlGf

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  79. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/GMRnprT3

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  80. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/ML8M6CMJ

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  81. Hi Ryan, there are still many offers in iOS that pay or reward users to download apps. There either local in a few countries or just under the radar. Google for now is tolerating those programs. But the real problem for the ad industry is that they create a real distorsion by either bringing the Cost per download at a low level, or by simply creating unfair competitive advantage with most ad networks who do not pay or reward users to promote apps (traditional like admob, adfonic,…or specific like app promotion platforms, including ours) or advertisers using those non incentivized channels.

    Hopefully market forces, like on the web 10 years ago, will make those offer go away. Facebook already banned them, Apple also did…but most importantly advertisers will realize, as you point here, they are not efficient.

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  82. RT @gigaom Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/fuDcszxi [just do not pay users to downloads apps!]

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  83. RT @OurielOhayon: RT @gigaom Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/fuDcszxi [just do not pay users to downloads apps!]

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  84. From the Department of the Freakin Obvious “@filos: Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/oQ3FdXvw”

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  85. Quality > quantity — RT @gigaom: Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/E5CFhZrt

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  86. bizodo.com

    let’s make your form building and information work easy and better.

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  87. Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/Kjzz3OSf via @OurielOhayon (despite the fact most of editors/devs cannot pay users)

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  88. RT @darealya: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/Kjzz3OSf via @OurielOhayon (despite the fact most of editors/devs cannot pay users)

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  89. Apps downloaded through incentives are largely abandoned or uninstalled http://t.co/nRdt4wkM via @gigaom #apps

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  90. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/UKJuxvRD #mobile #apps

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  91. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/WKjRNjDZ

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  92. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives: According to a Harris online survey on behalf of mobile ad… http://t.co/Z6G1C213

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  93. Agree. One-time incentives don’t breed loyalty RT @gigaom Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/sOUNRAyS

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  94. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/iLkO4bl3

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  95. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/IOzo986N

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  96. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/dUCxhZ0w

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  97. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/VKXf9w5t

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  98. It sounds quite obvious to me… RT @filos: Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/Oz3gkL73

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  99. Les techniques de vente violentes ne fonctionnent pas… Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/hzSM8KuE #ios #android

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  100. Les arbres ne montent pas jusqu’au ciel. même en numérique. “Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives” http://t.co/0RsjkE3i

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  101. RT @gigaom: Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/1xCs1xn5

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  102. Incentivised apps more likely to be abandoned by users – http://t.co/iUPsM3r3

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  103. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives: A study suggests that apps downloaded through incentives a… http://t.co/2TfvUPTw

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  104. [GigaOM] Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/tvhYRme5 #gigaom

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  105. RT @EliasVeris: Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/ML8M6CMJ

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  106. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/kyL7ReaB #ArabNetME

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  107. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/56hDQkw1

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  108. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives #socialmedia http://t.co/PXcmK1G0

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  109. “Apps downloaded through incentives are largely abandoned or uninstalled” according to study: http://t.co/ZqDjWzX6

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  110. That’s interesting. Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/rwOicPUq #apps #downloads

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  111. Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives – http://t.co/x3M1OdLI

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  112. Survey: 37% of users uninstall apps downloaded for incentive. Is this surprising? : http://t.co/gX0IBHjt [via @oryankim @gigaom] #apps

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  113. RT @clemnt: Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/WKjRNjDZ

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  114. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/Gbsn1xMP

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  115. You can lead a horse to water… Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/toxnYhmy

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  116. RT @mikemonello: You can lead a horse to water… Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/toxnYhmy

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  117. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/kodHUY9u

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  118. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/NmxQKDE1

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  119. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives. What’s your experience? http://t.co/ClErbCGj

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  120. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/Sv4Pb20f

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  121. “Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives” — Tech News and Analysis – http://t.co/KyVeZbYD

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  122. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/CjzmeZfV

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  123. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives — http://t.co/qlYM1nsW

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  124. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives – http://t.co/TLPb4g2O | #mobile #mobilemarketing

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  125. [241] Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives
    http://t.co/yRFThsv4

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  126. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/KY32G9SZ

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  127. Only 3% install & regularly use ‘incentive apps’ (apps downloaded for incentives like virtual currency) http://t.co/gWz5kK93

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  128. Hard selling doesn’t work here either… Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/iZ0udxB7

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  129. Apparently driving app downloads with in-game incentives works, but few of the downloads are played. #gamedev #html5 http://t.co/1Mu32M1x

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  130. On my reading list: http://t.co/K9oAhbYY Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives

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  131. AppMagenta, Gtekna (aka FreeAppParty.com), etc. are much, much worse. They are using robot downloads to artificially inflate app rankings to get more organic downloads. And if you don’t know who those guys are at this point, you need to do a little research about the mobile app market.

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  132. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/rSC5NEX7 (thus the need for good engagement metrics :) ) #analytics

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  133. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/5qU0mdzi

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  134. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives — Tech News and Analysis http://t.co/MqMxniGo

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  135. Of the remaining 97 percent, 62 percent of users never use an incentivized app again after downloading it. http://t.co/3kMBAoAW

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  136. RT @meshin Of the remaining 97 percent, 62 percent of users never use an incentivized app again after downloading http://t.co/YgmqMeT2

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  137. .@pontiflex commissioned a survey showing that incentivized app installs are not effective, check it out in @gigaom: http://t.co/RyxAtE0y

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  138. Good find @appMobi. Lessons for business, maybe? Driving app downloads with in-game incentives works, but few played http://t.co/KVAwgAGs

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  139. RT @gigaom: Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/qd9YSyeJ interesting!

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  140. [SURVEY] Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/OntYvEpe

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  141. Non-incentivized downloads – clearly the way to go http://t.co/7769AOi6

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  142. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/NFH6L0tr

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  143. Users seem to abandon #apps downloaded via incentives – http://t.co/0wCzneWe

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  144. Users abandoning apps downloaded via incentives?: http://t.co/o6SBmLjt

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  145. インセンティブ広告から継続的にアプリを利用するユーザーは3%しかいない。Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives → http://t.co/hl1feGi1

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  146. Harris survey suggests that app download incentives get you users who #churn http://t.co/ed4ft4xO #itstheproductthatmatters cc @nakedcmo

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  147. RT @gigaom: Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/ndEuVlGf

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  148. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/1iEUt7Me

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  149. RT @davidnotdave: Harris survey suggests that app download incentives get you users who #churn http://t.co/ed4ft4xO #itstheproductthatmatters cc @nakedcmo

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  150. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/5ZFf2UQM

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  151. RT @NomadAgency: Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/5ZFf2UQM

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  152. virtual currency used as incentives for app downloads #iphone #app #android… http://t.co/ylgoKiu7

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  153. The sponsored nature of this survey defeats the purpose.
    I used to work for the major incentivized downloads company. I wouldn’t comment much on the acquired user quality, but everyone who buys it knows the main purpose is chart boost to bring organic downloads.

    That’s why some optimization networks actually calculate CPD based on the combination of incentive-acquired and organic downloads.

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  154. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives – GigaOm http://t.co/bHPaY78p

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  155. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/rWrDQCWs

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  156. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives – GigaOm http://t.co/kVS5s1zS

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  157. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/lLlEGWKO

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  158. RT @gigaom: Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/ndEuVlGf

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  159. Survey: Users abandon apps downloaded via incentives http://t.co/Q9zkiAEG @pontiflex #in…Incentivized app installs??..–you decide…….

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