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!

Answers May Update: more data on business-critical user actions

By Jason St. Pierre, Product Manager

Since we released Answers Events last summer, our goal has been to show you the most impactful actions users are taking inside your app - in real time. The Answers dashboard gives you total visibility into user behavior by bringing the top events and their related attributes to your attention.

Events are the ultimate in-app actions (like listening to a song) that power your entire mobile business. Each event has attributes, which are packets of additional information (like the name of the song, the album it appeared on, the artist, the genre, etc.), that are critical for gaining context about the action. After listening to your feedback, we’re excited to give you more insight into category (i.e., string/text) attributes so you can get a deeper understanding of user engagement.

 

Greater discoverability of popular category attributes

Answers will never overwhelm you with a flood of uninterpretable data; we’ll bring the most important app metrics to the forefront. Initially, we showed you four category values for each category attribute in a consolidated way, but you asked for more insight and we listened!

Now, you will see the top 10 categories for each category event attribute. This update will greatly improve your ability to discover the most popular categories, and see how they change and trend over the past 30 days.

For example, if you manage a music app, you definitely want to know how Beyonce’s new album affects user behavior. Through this update, we’ll tell you how listening preferences vary day by day and answer questions like: What are the top 10 most downloaded songs on the day Beyonce’s new album is released? How does this top 10 song list compare to the day before? What new songs climbed to the top of the charts?

You won’t have to work to get the granularity you need - our dashboard demystifies your data for free.

 

Revamped graphs with deeper drill-down options

Staying true to our mission, we redesigned the category event attributes widget so more data doesn’t lead to more clutter. In addition to a sleeker UI, we’re also giving you more flexibility and control over how you want to toggle this information.

Want to drill down into specific days? Use the new date selector.

Want to see how certain category values compare? Simply select and/or de-select those categories and check out the trend lines.

Curious about how many times your users interacted with each category? We added raw counts along side each of the top 10 category values.

 

More actionable data about your app users

We know that understanding your app users is a vital part of growing your app. With Answers, we increased the number of visible categories (for both predefined and custom events) to give you clearer insight into user activity and, by extension, more actionable data on how to improve your app experience.

We love hearing your direct feedback - in fact, this update was entirely driven by our customers! Let us know how we can continue to help you understand user behavior and amplify user engagement.

Introducing Answers for tvOS

by Brian Swift, Product Manager

Last month, we opened beta access to one of our new tools at Answers Labs: Answers support for tvOS projects. Continuing to listen to your feedback, we wanted to bring the Answers experience you’ve come to know and love to tvOS.

Today, we’re thrilled to officially release Answers for tvOS!

 

The #1 mobile analytics solution for iOS, now on tvOS

When we set out to build an analytics tool that requires little analysis on your end, we wanted to make it as powerful and extensive as possible. Along the way, we were named the #1 mobile analytics solution by SourceDNA, and added support for OS X. And since many of you are building apps for tvOS today, we’re excited to support the next generation of experiences you’re crafting for Apple TV.

 

Similar to Answers for iOS and OS X, you’ll have instant visibility into critical performance metrics, such as DAU, MAU, and crash-free users — all in real time.

 

 

We're incredibly excited to support yet another major platform and help you grow your apps on even more Apple devices. Happy coding!