Blog Vietnam in three charts: Installs, sessi...

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

Vietnam's mobile app industry has experienced a meteoric rise, generating an impressive US$865 million in revenue in 2022. With rapid smartphone adoption and internet usage, apps have become a staple for the Vietnamese population. What makes Vietnam's mobile app landscape so exciting is its young and tech-savvy user base, with over 60% of individuals under 30 eager to adopt new technology.

As of 2022, the number of mobile internet users in Vietnam was 72.5 million and is expected to reach 83 million by 2028. Vietnam also had the second-highest app downloads in Southeast Asia last year, with a remarkable 3.5 billion downloads. The growth shows no signs of slowing down in 2023, as mobile app downloads in Vietnam reached 280 million in March, a 13% increase from the previous month. However, it's not just about downloads - Vietnamese users are also spending more time on mobile apps, with 82.7 billion combined hours and an average of four hours a day.

According to Adjust data, Vietnam's app performance has been more or less in-line with global trends, and the first quarter of 2023 has been a game changer. After declining by 13% from 2021 to 2022, installs surged by 14% in Q1 2023 compared to Q4 2022. Meanwhile, app sessions increased by 20% year-over-year (YoY) in 2022. This momentum has continued into 2023, with a 10% increase in sessions during Q1 compared to the same period last year. In this article, we take a closer look at the top app verticals dominating Vietnam, highlighting those with the highest downloads and most user engagement.

Mobile gaming takes the lead in Vietnam

Mobile gaming is leading the pack in Vietnam with over 2.3 billion downloads, making it the most popular app category in the country. Utility apps came in second place, with over 260 million downloads, followed by entertainment, photo and video, and social networking apps. On iOS, photo and video apps were the second most popular category, followed by social networking, entertainment, and utility apps.

Entertainment, social networking, and utility app usage on the upswing

The demand for diverse content in Vietnam has led to significant growth in entertainment apps. Between 2021 and 2022, sessions for these apps increased by 14%, with installs growing by 8%. Video and music streaming are among the most popular online activities for Vietnamese internet users, with an average of almost 2.5 hours spent streaming content daily. In a Q4 2022 survey, YouTube emerged as the top video and music streaming service in Vietnam, used by 76% of respondents. Local platforms like FPT Play and VTV Go are also very popular, providing unique and culturally relevant content. Additionally, music is an integral part of Vietnamese app usage, as users spend a little over an hour listening to streamed music daily. Vietnamese music lovers have a wide range of options for streaming their favorite tunes, with popular platforms like Zing, Spotify, NhacCuaTui, and SoundCloud leading the charge.

As we mentioned above, Vietnam has emerged as a thriving hub for mobile gaming enthusiasts. Most players under 24 spend an average of 2 to 3 hours daily playing their favorite mobile games and are willing to spend significant amounts of money on in-app purchases to unlock virtual items and additional content. This makes the market highly lucrative for game developers and publishers. In fact, mobile gaming revenue in Vietnam is expected to reach an impressive US$700 million by 2023.

For Vietnamese mobile gamers, it's about more than just the gameplay, as many value socializing and interacting with other players. They frequently engage in online gaming communities and participate in multiplayer games. Despite a 10% YoY decline in mobile gaming sessions in Vietnam in 2022, the beginning of 2023 brought a promising surge for the industry. Q1 sessions were 9% higher than the Q4 2022 average and 3% more than the 2022 average. Q1 installs were also up by 25% compared to Q4 2022. This presents an exciting opportunity for mobile marketers to expand their user base and boost revenue growth by implementing effective user acquisition and retention strategies.

Social networking apps have taken Vietnam by storm, with an astounding 74.65 million predicted users for 2023. According to a survey in late 2022, 96% of respondents use Facebook, with Zalo following closely behind. Zalo, Vietnam's premier chatting platform, has dominated the communication market since its launch in 2012. Social media apps have seen tremendous growth in the last year, with sessions increasing by a whopping 356% between 2021 and 2022 and installs climbing by 331%. The growth has continued into 2023, with Q1 sessions already exceeding the 2022 average by 17%.

In Vietnam, the use of utility apps, such as browsers, productivity tools, and photo and video editors, has skyrocketed in recent years. With smartphones and the internet becoming more accessible, people are looking for ways to make their lives easier, and these apps provide the perfect solution. In 2022, utility apps experienced a huge 120% growth in app sessions, which is continuing into 2023. In fact, Q1 saw a 43% YoY increase in sessions, making it clear that these apps have become an essential part of daily life. Additionally, the Q1 2023 installs of utility apps saw a significant uptick, with a 21% increase over the Q4 2022 average. This clearly shows that utility apps are here to stay and are helping users simplify complex tasks.

Gaming and social networking apps boast top retention rates

In Q4 2022, mobile games and social networking apps had the highest user engagement, with Day 1 retention rates of 22% and 16%, respectively. Entertainment apps came in third with a rate of 13%, while utility apps lagged behind at 12%. This data indicates that the power of play and connection is crucial to keep Vietnamese users engaged. Creating a seamless and intuitive user experience, optimizing app performance, and offering rewards and incentives for continued use is also critical.

Seizing the opportunity: Mobile marketing in Vietnam

Vietnam is a promising market for mobile app marketers, with continued growth expected. However, with so many apps vying for attention, standing out from the crowd can take time and effort. Here are some tips to help you succeed as a mobile app marketer in Vietnam:

  • Localize your app: Vietnamese users prefer apps tailored to their language and culture. To appeal to Vietnamese audiences, make sure your app is translated into Vietnamese and customize your marketing messages accordingly.
  • Leverage social media: Vietnamese users are highly active on social media platforms like Facebook and Zalo. Utilize these platforms to promote your app, run ads, and engage with users.
  • Utilize mobile app analytics: By tracking metrics such as user engagement, retention, and conversion rates, you can gain valuable insights into how users interact with your app and identify areas for improvement. Use this information to optimize your app's user experience and marketing strategy, and stay ahead of the competition.

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