App User Lifecycle

Mobile App Analytics

What best practices should you follow when implementing a mobile analytics and event tracking SDK for your app? What events and parameters are relevant for an application that allows users to interact/share with one another?

Sunil Thomas, CEO for CleverTap recently answered this question on his Quora channel. He provided the following advice for tracking in-app mobile analytics.

Key Metrics to Monitor for Mobile Analytics

  1. New users signing up: Always want your app to attract a steady stream of new users. With a social app, we want hooks within the apps itself that attract new users i.e. ways for existing users to bring new users into the app via. content sharing, or invites etc.
  2. Users consuming content: No matter what the social app is about (videos, text, pictures etc.) it is critical that the users who are in the app are consuming content.
  3. Users interacting with content: This is the social aspect of the app. A percentage of users who consume content need to interact with it. Depending on the app, these interactions could vary from commenting, sharing, up voting, forwarding, poking, high five’ing and more. Content interaction is the social fabric of the app and essential for the overall health and growth of the app.

If you agree that the above are the core metrics of the app, then the events you need to track have to be events that help you understand and trends these core metrics over time.

Not exactly knowing the app, in general terms the following might be useful:

Understanding your Mobile App Performance: Track In-App Events

  • App Launched
  • Login: You want to segment between anonymous users and logged-in users and maintain that ratio over time
  • Content Viewed: with properties that describe the content…maybe category by topic, maybe type i.e. video, image etc. and such
  • Content Posted/Created: with properties that describe the content, as above
  • Content Interaction: with properties that describe the content as above, AND also describe the interaction (share, up-vote and so on)
  • User Interaction: apart from content interactions, there might be certain user interactions that your app provides – like Follow-a-Friend, Subscribe-To-A-Users-Feed and so on. Its best to track User-to-User interactions differently as compared to User-to-Content interactions

The questions you want answered over time with your event design are:

  1. Daily / Weekly and Monthly Active Users, with trend over time
  2. Ratio of Logged-In Users vs. Anonymous Users, with trend over time
  3. Basic Retention Cohort: how often (frequency and time period) do my users launch the app
  4. Content Viewed: count/frequency by active users, with trend over time
  5. Content Interaction / Content Viewed: ratio of users who interact with content vs. users who only consume, with trend over time…you want to influence interaction from people who don’t interact
  6. Content Interaction / Content Created: ratio of users who interact with content as compared to users who create content, with trend over time…you want to influence more (and all) pieces of content that are created to be interacted with; and all users who create to also interact on other pieces of content
  7. Drop-Off’s with the app
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