Blog Turkey in three charts: Installs, sessio...

Turkey in three charts: Installs, sessions, and retention rates

Turkey's app market is rapidly growing, with revenues skyrocketing from almost US$1.39 billion in 2022 to an expected US$2.18 billion in 2027. The country's mobile infrastructure is also expanding in tandem with the increasing number of smartphone users, leading to a surge in mobile app downloads and usage. As of 2022, over 75% of the Turkish population owned a smartphone, with 68.7 million mobile internet users. The total number of downloads has been on a steady incline, reaching 3.73 billion in 2022, up from 3.56 billion in 2021. Users are also spending more time than ever before on mobile apps, with a total of 44.4 billion hours spent.

The increase in mobile app usage can be linked to the pandemic. Users spent an average of 3.2 hours per day on mobile in 2019, which rose to 4.3 hours in 2020 and has since remained steady. As interest in mobile apps continues to grow in Turkey, mobile app marketers are stepping up their game, with in-app ad spending predicted to reach US$447.4 million in 2023 and US$677.7 million by 2027.

Adjust data reveals that despite a slight decrease in app installs in 2022, app sessions in Turkey saw a boost of 13% year-over-year. Notably, app performance has been promising in the first half of 2023, with installs already up by 5% compared to the 2022 average. While overall sessions have slightly decreased this year, verticals such as fintech, shopping, and social networking have grown significantly. In this article, we delve deeper into the top-performing app verticals in Turkey, analyzing those with the most downloads and highest user engagement.

Mobile gaming claims the top spot in Turkey

Turkey has a clear front-runner when it comes to app categories: mobile gaming, which saw over 2.1 billion downloads across all platforms in 2022. Auto & vehicle apps ranked second with 342 million downloads, while medical apps came in third. The top-performing verticals on iOS were different, as shopping came in second, followed by photo & video, fintech, and social networking apps.

Fintech, shopping, and social networking app usage on the rise

Turkey has established itself as a significant player in the global automotive industry, ranking 13th in the world in terms of motor vehicle production. With top companies like TEMSA, Otokar, and BMC, Turkey has become a major manufacturer of vans, buses, and trucks and a key supplier to European automakers. Given that automotive manufacturing plays a key role in the Turkish economy, it comes as no surprise that the usage of auto and vehicle apps has been on a steady rise. In 2022, installs increased by 19% YoY, while sessions rose by 31% YoY. In H1 2023, sessions have already shot up by 13% compared to the H1 2022 average.

Turkey's fintech industry has undergone incredible growth in recent years, fueled by a combination of factors such as a robust banking sector, advanced technology infrastructure, and innovation-friendly regulations. In 2022, the total fintech investment in Turkey reached a new record of US$89 million, a 30% increase from the previous year. A recent survey in Turkey revealed that 85% of respondents make transactions via mobile banking, which is the highest rate in the world. Moreover, the value of digital payment transactions in Turkey was $63.5 billion in 2022 and is expected to nearly double to $137 billion by 2027, according to Statista. Adjust data also shows that fintech apps have experienced substantial growth, with installs and sessions increasing by 43% and 64% from 2021 to 2022, respectively. In the first half of 2023, installs were 17% higher than the 2022 average, and sessions were up by 23%.

Despite a dip in total revenue for mobile gaming in Turkey last year, the demand for mobile gaming in the country is still sky-high. In fact, 81% of Turkish adults reported playing at least one mobile game. Turkish mobile gamers are also a highly engaged bunch, with 41% of them playing more than ten hours a day. Although installs and sessions for mobile games were down by 9% YoY and 22% in 2022, installs have made a comeback in the first half of 2023, at 9% higher than the 2022 average. Meanwhile, mobile gaming sessions in H1 2023 were 5% higher than the H2 2022 average.

Social networking and shopping app sessions grow in 2022

Health and fitness apps have been gaining popularity in Turkey as more people become aware of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. With an ever-growing number of options available, these apps offer personalized features that make them convenient and easy to use. However, despite projected revenue of US$511.6 million by 2023, installs and sessions for these apps decreased by 28% and 25%, respectively, from 2021 to 2022. To combat this, mobile marketers must ensure the content is localized and leverage app store optimization to increase downloads and user engagement. Gamification challenges can also help keep users engaged.

Mobile commerce is booming in Turkey, with most online shoppers prefer using mobile devices to make purchases. According to a recent report, mobile devices accounted for almost three in five e-commerce sales in Turkey during the first half of 2021. This surge in popularity can be attributed to the fast delivery and access to discounts and offers provided by shopping apps. Among the top-grossing shopping apps in Turkey are letgo: İkinci El Al ve Sat, Müzik Indirme Programı on, and Lookbooks - Express Creativity. Installs of shopping apps grew by 18% YoY in 2022, while sessions increased by 22%. The trend has continued into H1 2023, with sessions up by 14% compared to the 2022 average.

The social networking market in Turkey has experienced significant growth, with its value reaching $228.7 million in 2022 and expected to surpass $354 million by 2027. As of 2023, Turkey has over 62.5 million social media users, accounting for 73.1% of the total population. While established brands like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter have the highest penetration, the top-grossing social networking apps in Turkey are homegrown, including Azar - Video Chat, Keşfet, Tango - Video Canlı Yayın İzle, and BIGO LIVE - Canlı Yayın, Live. Installs of social networking apps increased by 34% YoY in 2022, and sessions grew 64% YoY. The trend continued into 2023, with sessions in the first half of this year 2% higher than the 2022 average.

User retention rates are highest for gaming and fintech apps

In the first quarter of 2023, mobile gaming and fintech apps had the most engaged users, with Day 1 retention rates of 25% and 23%, respectively. Following closely behind, auto and vehicle apps came in third with a Day 1 rate of 19%, while health and fitness apps were not far behind at 18%. Shopping and social networking apps had a lower retention rate of 16%.

Strategies for marketing mobile apps in Turkey

Despite the challenging economic climate in Turkey, the mobile app industry is still thriving. To successfully market an app in Turkey, mobile marketers should employ multiple strategies. Firstly, it's crucial to analyze the demographics, user behavior, and preferences. Once you clearly understand your target audience, you can adapt your app to the Turkish market by localizing the language, content, and user interface.

Mobile app marketers must also optimize their app's presence on app stores through keyword research, relevant categories, and localized landing pages. With the high usage of social media apps in the country, it's essential to collaborate with Turkish influencers and businesses to build a community around your app. Finally, continuous monitoring and analysis of your app's performance are necessary to refine your marketing strategies and stay competitive in the ever-evolving market, and ultimately scale ROI.

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