Nielsen’s Smartphone Analytics recently published some stats on Android app usage—and it’s not a pretty picture for indie developers. As GigaOM puts it: “Android users only spend time on top apps.”

The GigaOM article points to a problem common across all mobile platforms: app discoverability. With Android, discoverability can be an especially hard mountain to climb because of its open market approach. iOS is different in that users know there is only one place to get apps, so they flock to the Apple App Store to buy them. Android? Well, you’ve got a plethora of choices.

According to the Nielsen data, users also spend less time in non top apps. GigaOM explains the bottom line:

If you’re a developer and you can’t afford to pay for marketing or you don’t have some amazing viral hit, it looks like it’s very hard to get your app used and that makes it hard to crack profitability on Android for all but the biggest apps. If you’re not being used that often, you can’t expect to garner that much in advertising or in-app purchases.

Luckily, Socialize can help Android developers with user engagement. The SDK’s built-in social features bring users back to the app. It doesn’t have to be a top-10 app to be active: you just need an interactive and welcoming experience. Socialize does that, outfitting users with the ability to like and comment within the app and giving them a reason to return to the app. The SDK is free, open source and available to download at

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