Mobile app frauds increased in 2021, rural India an opportunity for app marketers: AppFlyer report – The Indian Express

Mobile apps in India are experiencing tremendous success, but this is also making them a prime target for cybercriminals to carry out fraudulent activities, says a new report by AppsFlyer. The research firm’s “State of App Marketing in India 2022 Report” also highlights that rural India is a promising opportunity for app marketers, particularly in the verticals of finance, gaming, news, shopping, utilities, and entertainment.
“Over 80 per cent of all non-organic installs in India were seen to be coming from non-metros. Users from Tier 2 and 3 cities, who prefer vernacular content, are now actively contributing to India’s mobile-first economy as they become increasingly hyperconnected,”Aditya Maheshwari, Director of Customer Success at AppsFlyer told indianexpress.com.
Meanwhile, metropolitan cities account for 12 per cent of all organic installs whereas almost half of all non-organic installs were found to be from six states of Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. An organic install means that there was no direct spend related to that install. Essentially, such users comes across the app through an app store search.
The report also highlighted that larger apps (by app install volume) tend to have a higher proportion of app installs attributed to fraud. In India, the total financial exposure to mobile app fraud was at $91.6 million in 2021 with an overall fraud rate of 19.61 per cent. This number is significantly higher than that of the global rate.
Xiaomi continued to lead the pack with most app installs, with over 22 per cent of the market share, while Samsung continued to hang in at
second place (just under 20 per cent). However when it comes to Health & Fitness, Samsung was ahead of the pack.
It is worth noting that Android apps were more impacted by fraud than iOS apps, although the latter are comparatively more vulnerable to click flooding. Click flooding or spam was seen to be a major concern for gaming, where almost two-thirds of fraudulent installs were linked to this. Click flooding is a type of advertising fraud where a large number of clicks are sent by cybercriminals in an attempt to obtain the last-click and steal advertising spend of app marketers.
“The focus of smaller apps should primarily be on bots (which make up a vast majority of fraud for apps with low install volumes) while larger apps should shift their attention towards click flooding prevention,”  he added.
The food and drink sector suffered heavily from mobile ad fraud with a 37.43 per cent fraud rate followed by travel, entertainment and finance. The report notes that Indian app users who continue to use apps that serve advertisements had more retention rate. Such consumers are called re-marketed users.
The likelihood of 30-day retention rate of re-marketed users was seen to be 63 per cent more than that of non-remarketed users, according to the report. As per AppFlyer, a high retention rate was seen among remarketed users in the entertainment category as opposed to the non-remarketed install base.
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