How to monitor your app retention in Fabric

By Shobhit Chugh, Product Manager

How-to-monitor-retention-in-Fabric

A common misconception in the mobile world is that number of app downloads is the strongest indicator of success. But what if you have a ton of users, yet they rarely interact with your app? What if people download your app and then churn the next day? Looking at your total number of app users or installs in isolation doesn’t paint an accurate picture of your app’s health - you also need to pay attention to retention. Retention helps you understand how often people return to your app. It’s important to measure retention because if your hard-earned users aren’t sticking around and regularly engaging with your app, you cannot build a sustainable mobile business.

In this blog post, we’ll show you how to track your retention over time through Fabric’s new retention page (which is part of our new dashboard).

 

Measuring retention from three angles

To give you a holistic view of how strong your app retention is, we focus on three things: active users, activity segments, and new user retention.

Let’s review how each angle helps you better understand retention.

1. Fluctuations in active users

The first sign of how well you’re retaining users is the number of active users you have on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis - and if these numbers are trending up or down over time.

When you navigate to the retention page, you’ll see these metrics in the top two graphs:

  • Daily active users (DAUs - how many people have had at least one session with your app today)

  • Weekly active users (WAUs - how many people have had at least one session with your app in the last seven days)

  • Monthly active users (MAUs - how many people have had at least one session with your app in the last 30 days)

The pulsating DAUs graph gives you real-time insight into how many people have used your app so far today, compared to this time last week. The second graph provides an additional lens by highlighting changes in weekly and monthly active users.

Steady, consistent growth in active users is a good signal that your retention is strong.

 

2. Changes in activity segments

The middle section of the retention page is centered around activity segments. Based on session data, activity segments groups users into buckets, ranging from inactive users (people who have not launched your app in more than a week) all the way to high activity users (people who have used your app almost every single day in the past seven days).

Activity segments provide a deeper look at your retention by revealing how engaged your active users are, how many are at risk of abandoning your app, and how people flow from one segment to another.

This graph can tell you a few interesting things about retention. First off, look at how people are transitioning between states. For example, if you see a large and healthy flow of users moving from “low activity” to “medium or high activity”, their engagement level is changing in a positive way - meaning that retention is improving.

Another interesting thing to monitor is the correlation between the number of new users and the growth in each segment. For instance, if you’re earning thousands of new users every week, but you’re only seeing a corresponding bump in the low activity segment - this means your new users are not deeply committed to your app. In this case, consider improving your onboarding flow to showcase the value of your app to new users.

Pro Tip: Move the slider at the bottom of this graph to see your activity segments at different times during the last 30 days. You can also use this slider to compare how active your users are during the weekday versus the weekend.

 

3. New user retention rate

Finally, the last graph on the retention page shows you what percent of new users are continuing to interact with your app after one day, seven days, and thirty days. This graph helps you see whether or not new users are still active after their first session at key time intervals. For instance, the day one metric means that X% of people who installed and used your app for the first time yesterday, also used it today.

The higher these percentages are, the stronger your app retention is because it means that a large amount of new users are turning into loyal, habitual users. If we notice any irregularities (i.e. an unusual increase or decrease in your new user retention), we’ll flag it so you can dig into what happened on that day.

 

From understanding retention to improving it

Fabric’s new retention page helps you measure retention from three different angles: active users (how many people are using my app?), activity segments (how engaged are my users?), and new user retention rate (how often do new users come back to my app?).

Armed with this insight, you’ll develop a baseline understanding of your retention, be able to recognize when it becomes a problem, and act quickly to combat churn. 

If you’re already a Fabric customer, click here to check out your retention page.

If you’re not currently a Fabric customer, get started by signing up and installing Crashlytics.

The new Fabric dashboard: all the analytics you love, reimagined

By Shobhit Chugh, Product Manager & Marc Richards, Engineering Manager

Blog-header-new-Fabric-dashboard

When we launched Fabric’s Answers three years ago, our mission was to provide app teams with analytics they didn’t need to spend hours analyzing. Just as the name implied, Answers made sense of your data by organizing it into insightful, real-time graphs of user behavior. But as our platform evolved to better serve you, two things became apparent:

  1. Our customers used Fabric to accomplish a set of goals, but our dashboard was structured around our tools rather than your needs. Consequently, information about each goal was scattered, which meant that you had to jump between different graphs and screens.

  2. As we built deeper integrations between Fabric’s different components, analytics became the heart of our platform, so it no longer made sense to keep Answers as a separate, siloed brand.

In an effort to provide more clarity and bring data together in a more meaningful way, we’re excited to introduce the new Fabric dashboard! Centered around your top app goals, this dashboard gives you a holistic view of your app’s performance in one place. All the metrics you know and love are still there, now grouped more intuitively by the business impact they have.

Fabric’s new dashboard gives me a bird’s eye view of the areas of my app that need attention, which helps me make smart decisions and spend my time wisely.


 

Monitor your app from every critical business angle

Over the last year, we spent time listening to your feedback on how you use Fabric, which key  things you measure, and what your top business priorities are. We found that all app teams, regardless of the type of app they develop and manage, have a set of core goals that are vital to their mobile success. They are:

“I want to build a stable app and monitor my latest release.”
“I want to understand what users are doing inside my app so I can engage and retain them.”
“I want to grow my business by acquiring new users and earning revenue.”

Armed with this insight, we updated our dashboard so it’s easier to understand how your app is doing from each of those business-critical angles. Here’s a quick overview of how your brand new Fabric dashboard is organized, and what you can learn from each section.

At the top, you’ll see a real-time graph of your active users. These are people who are using your app right now.

The first row of charts shows you how often people return to your app (retention), how many new users you’re acquiring each day (growth), and how many users are completing your most important in-app action (the KPI - key performance indicator).

The second row of graphs will help you monitor your app quality and gauge the success of your latest release.

As you scroll to the bottom of the dashboard, you’ll see how engaged your users are around the world and what actions they are taking. And if you sell physical or virtual goods in your app, the revenue chart will show you how much money you’re making.

Pro Tip: The new Fabric dashboard compares your data week over week, in real-time. This means that each delta shows you how that metric has changed from what it was at the same time last week.

 

Dedicated pages provide more context about each app goal

While the main Fabric dashboard gives you a bird’s eye view of what’s happening in your app right now, you can also zoom in on each app goal to get more information by simply clicking on it.

For example, let’s say you recently launched a mobile ad campaign and you notice a corresponding bump in your Daily New Users. Does this mean that your new user acquisition campaign was a success? Maybe at first glance - but you need more information on the caliber of these new users. Are they sticking around and engaging with your app? Are they completing key in-app actions? To get the answer, just click on the growth section.

Now, you’ll be taken to a new growth-focused page that sheds light on the quality and activity level of your new users. We unveiled this growth page back in December, and today, it’s fully integrated into the new Fabric dashboard!

In the next few weeks, we’ll go through each page of the Fabric dashboard in more detail and share best practices on how to make the most of it. Stay tuned!

  • Growth
  • Retention
  • KPI
  • Crashlytics
  • Latest Release
  • Engagement
  • Audience Insights
  • Revenue
  • Events


 

Iterating for clarity in a chaotic world

As the mobile industry matures, complexity ensues. Our mission is to always provide opinionated, real-time analytics that help you focus on the areas of your app that need attention - without overwhelming you with data.

We enhanced Fabric’s dashboard for clarity to make it easier, and faster, to find the information you need on your most important app goals and business priorities. In the immortal words of the great Leonardo Da Vinci, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

If you’re already a Fabric customer, click here to check out your new dashboard.

If you’re not currently a Fabric customer, get started by signing up and installing Crashlytics.

Launching Answers growth dashboard: understand your app’s growth

by Steve Wilber, Product Manager

In the mobile industry, the adage “if you’re not growing, you’re shrinking” is as true as ever. Today, there are more than 2 million apps available in the app stores, meaning that competition is fierce and growth isn’t easy. In fact, 13 of the top apps in the U.S. saw their growth rate decline by ~20% this year. Mobile teams know that they cannot simply build an app and expect users to flock to it - they need to actively monitor and grow their users.

To help mobile teams understand their user growth, we’re announcing a new growth analytics dashboard. With this new dashboard, you can answer important questions like: “How many new users did my app gain this week vs. the last? Are they completing key actions inside my app? Are they sharing my app with their friends?”

Understand your user growth in real-time

It’s important for product managers and app marketers to stay on top of their new users count everyday and measure their progress each week. That’s why the new growth dashboard features three key data points at the very top:

  • cumulative number of new users today
  • new users count at this same time last week
  • percentage change based on today’s count versus last week’s

By combining this data, your dashboard gives you an instant snapshot of how your app has been growing today and how well you’re performing comparing to the same point last week. It also helps you understand your growth trend for the week and whether you’re improving overall on a weekly basis!

Know the quality of your new users

The key to sustainable growth is not just getting new users, but ensuring they are taking meaningful actions in your app. With the new growth dashboard, you can now see the percentage of new users who performed a key performance indicator (KPI) each day. This helps you measure how engaged your new users are and see if your daily marketing efforts are attracting one-time users or highly engaged users.

Highly engaged users will come back to your app more often, so another way to gauge user quality is to look at your new user retention. The new growth dashboard helps you keep tabs on the percentage of new users that came back to your app after a day, a week and 30 days of installing your app. If the retention rate on a given day is higher or lower than expected vs. the week before, we’ll call this to your attention. This way you can address any issues quickly if there are any!

From our friends at Ticketmaster:

We believe that winners like scoreboards, and this new growth dashboard has been our favorite scoreboard for our mobile app development and QA teams. Retention is a valuable metric that is less sensitive to concert on-sale dates and the growth dashboard has provided us with several new metrics for us to follow how our fans are engaging with our apps in real-time.



Measure and optimize your organic viral growth

For many mobile-driven businesses, in-app referrals can be one of the most effective channels for user growth. Studies have shown that up to 50% of all buying decisions are a result of word-of-mouth referrals. To help you measure your app’s virality, the new growth dashboard shows you how many users are sharing your app’s content or inviting their friends to download your app. One big question remains though: Are their friends actually installing your app from those invites?

The new growth dashboard gives you the answer via its viral installs graph. Powered by Branch (a multi-channel, deep linking and attribution tool), the viral installs chart shows you how many installs came from the invites sent or content shared by your users with their friends. It also gives you the power to drill into which channel is more successful so you can double down on the one that gives you the highest return.

Your command center for growth in 2017

We’ve built this new dashboard to help you understand your user growth and know where to invest your marketing efforts. With 2017 on the horizon, we hope this dashboard will empower you and your team to march into the new year stronger than ever. Here’s to next year!

Introducing activity segments: new insight into user retention

By Marc Richards, Product Manager

One of the biggest (and most costly) mistakes app development teams make is forgetting about retention. Yes, it’s important to grow your user base, but what’s the point in spending time and money to acquire a new user if they churn the next day?

Today, mobile is a sophisticated, full-fledged industry which means competition is increasing (Apple’s App store adds more than 1,000 apps a day) and app abandonment is alarmingly high (losing up to 80% of your user base is shockingly, considered normal).

The bottom line is: you cannot build a successful mobile business unless you pay attention to retention. The first step to doing that is understanding how engaged your current users are. That’s why on Answers’ second birthday, we’re announcing activity segments, a deeper look at your active app users, and the ones at risk of abandoning your app.

Time is precious as an indie dev, and Answers gives me high level user metrics with no extra work on my part. Now I know when retention is a problem in my apps.


A powerful, intuitive snapshot of user engagement

It’s hard to acquire new app users, so it’s natural to want to know if they are actually sticking around and converting into loyal users. Answers activity segments show how active your users are, over the course of a week. Based on session data, Answers groups users into buckets, ranging from inactive users (people who have not launched your app in more than a week) all the way to high activity users (people who have used your app almost every single day in the past 7 days). We even give you a breakdown of new and resurrected users.

Most importantly, we reveal how users are flowing from one activity state to another (e.g., how their engagement level changes week over week in an easy-to-read graph). This will help you answer questions like:

  • Are my high activity users increasing or decreasing from week to week?
  • What percent of low activity users are new users?
  • How many people moved from the medium activity bucket to the high activity bucket in the last week?
  • How many users did we re-engage and rescue from their inactive state?

This information will be invaluable in helping you prioritize your app marketing campaigns and gauging their success.

It's great that we can quickly see user retention and spend time on action instead of digging for data.


Uncover behaviors that correlate with healthy users

Once you have awareness into your user engagement levels, the next step is to uncover what distinguishes an active user from a user who is at risk of churning. It’s vital to identify the behavioral benchmarks of your healthy users so you can proactively nudge more people towards these “good” loyalty-boosting behaviors.

Answers activity segments will show you vital behavioral information like how many sessions your highly active users have, and how much time they spend in-app, compared to the other segments. Use this data to run smarter app marketing campaigns. For example, if you see that high activity users have longer session lengths, encourage other users to spend more time in your app – perhaps by prompting them to try a new feature.

Plus, if you have Answers Events enabled, we’ll automatically track which events are more (or less) common among users in each segment. If something seems out of the ordinary, we’ll bring it to your attention so you can investigate or take action as necessary. For example, if you notice that high activity users tend to share app content at a much higher cadence, consider adding more social sharing features and brainstorm ways to motivate more people to share.

Answers provides a powerful picture of user retention across all of our apps. It allows us to see how many users we were able to resurrect due to specific feature updates or push notifications, so we can focus on app improvements that make the greatest impact.


Quickly recognize and reduce retention problems

Answers activity segments shed new light on user engagement, so you can see how many people are regularly interacting with your app and how many are at risk of never coming back. This is your wake-up call to recognize and reduce retention problems before it’s too late. Now, you’ll know right away if your number of inactive app users spikes, giving you time to reprioritize resources to combat churn and entice existing users back to your app.

More exciting things on the horizon

We built Answers activity segments to help you see how engaged your current users are, so you can nurture and retain them. But, this is just the beginning. We’re continuing to identify and develop ways to make your app data even more actionable. As always, we can’t wait to hear what you think about Answers activity segments!

Powerful, real-time analytics on the go with the Fabric mobile app

by Meekal Bajaj, Product Manager

Just a few months ago, we launched the Fabric mobile app so you always have visibility into your app’s stability and usage even on the go. Since then, many of you have requested more functionality within our app that can help you dive deeper into your data and understand how your apps are growing. We’ve listened!

Today, we’re releasing a major upgrade to the app: the ability to drill into your most impactful adoption and stability metrics, such as DAU, MAU, and retention, to stay on top of your new releases — all in real-time.

Your most important metrics, always at your fingertips

The questions driving key product decisions are often asked in meeting rooms and hallways. However, the lack of access to data in the moment means those questions are often left unresolved. This delay can impede even the best of teams from making the call on how to grow the business!

With today’s update, you can now quickly understand how your app’s user activity is changing over time by drilling into the daily active users graph. We’ll show you how many new users you are acquiring every day. By benchmarking your active and new users against the same time last week, you can immediately understand how your app is growing.

Don’t wait to open your laptop to investigate changes in user behavior. Now you can know right away how your retention and new users rates are influencing your monthly active user counts, directly from your phone.

Inform your decisions with the #1 mobile analytics & crash reporting solutions

To build the most engaging and stable apps, you not only need total visibility, but also data that you can trust. The data within the Fabric mobile app is powered by Answers and Crashlytics, the leading real-time mobile analytics and crash reporting solutions. With our latest update, you’ll have the freedom and confidence to make informed product decisions for your mobile apps -- anywhere, anytime.

From our friends at Instacart:

We love the Fabric mobile app. Its real-time analytics makes it the first place we look to when we need to get a pulse on how our apps are doing. Our team checks it at least several times a day!


Keep your latest release at the forefront

Launch day is stressful for any app. With so many moving parts, the risk of something going wrong is high. With the Fabric mobile app, you can stay on top of new releases by monitoring the adoption and stability of your latest version on the go. Also, you can explore the top issues by day through the crash-free users graph. And if you see your stability diverge from what it should be, you can easily filter down to the specific issues and take action.

We’re thrilled to ship this new update and are excited to continue helping you make informed decisions about your app wherever you are. To get the latest features, just update your app through the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. We can’t wait for you to try it!