Applications Foraying into Gaming to Boost User Engagement

By Pallavi Gangwar · Jun 4, 2021

App Developers often face the challenge of minimizing the instances of their apps being uninstalled, or of increasing the user retention rate on their apps.

With a spurt in the number of apps in the play store, there is an intense competition among apps providing similar services. At the same time, the increasing variety of services provided by our mobile phones often act as a distracter, taking the user from one app to the next and decreasing retention time on a specific app as a consequence.

Interestingly, a study from researchers at the Technical University of Denmark suggests that the collective global attention span is narrowing and our urge for ‘newness’ causes us to switch between topics more regularly.

Another challenge that the app developers are facing is how to minimize the size of their apps. In developing markets like India where a large chunk of the audience is present in tier II and tier III cities, there is a possibility that users don’t want to flood their phone with many apps keeping in mind the limited memory size of an affordable phone. In such a scenario uninstalling any app is not at all surprising.

A possible solution for app developers could be to provide users with more engaging content with a minimum requirement for memory in the user’s phones and this is where HTML5 Games aggregators step in.

HTML5 games work on any device, operating system or platform. These do not require installation of the app on the users’ phone and therefore do not consume much phone memory. These games can be integrated within apps in a few minutes as a touchpoint without any technical complexities. HTML5 Games can also be played offline and can be shared with friends as links over social media.

HTML5 games also provide a possible solution to increase user retention and engagement in the app. Imagine a case when a user with a tendency to switch between apps comes across a bunch of exciting games, within the app itself, providing him/her an opportunity to win money/coupons. This will definitely increase the probability of him/her being engaged in the app for a longer period of time.

HTML5 Games are thus  becoming the new buzzwords on popular apps from diverse categories including:

  • content aggregators like Newspoint, Navbharat Times
  • e-commerce companies like Flipkart, Snapdeal
  • Browsers, including Opera, Firefox, MX Player
  • Social media startups like Share chat
  • Transport Schedule Applications like Ixigo
  • Cab and Hotel aggregators like Ola, Fab hotels
Left to right: Firefox Lite, Ixigo, NewsPoint

According to a report by Nasscom, the Indian gaming market is expected to touch $1.1 Bn by 2020. The report further stated that among all the emerging markets, India is the largest in terms of downloads with over 2.8 Bn game downloads in the first half of 2018.

Furthermore, data from reliable sources also show that the customers who hail from smaller towns spend a lot of time on gaming averaging an hour a day.

It has been reported that people from Tier II and Tier III towns are also sceptical of online transactions. Fascinatingly, e-commerce giants like Flipkart have utilized HTML5 games to build trust and familiarity among new users by providing them with more engaging products like games.

It is reported that over 2.3 million consumers played games on the Flipkart platform, during the company’s flagship Big Billion Day sale. These games attract customers by providing them with discounts and coupon codes as rewards.

This is precisely why smart developers are looking to embed such casual games within their applications. It significantly improves important metrics like session length, user trust, time spent in the app and to an extent, retention.

With HTML5 already popular among many applications, it is only a matter of time that these games will be a usual and expected feature in all apps.

By – Pallavi Gangwar