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App Insights

September 16, 2014ByRavi Grover

Today we're excited to announce that we're launching new tools within App Insights to let you better measure the performance of your app among specific groups of people, and better track retention of people using your app. App Insights allows you to measure Facebook integrations, traffic sources, and specific events taken within your app. Now, these additions will make it easier for you to make smart business decisions to improve the performance of your app.

Understand the performance of your app by cohort

First, we've made it easier for you to understand the performance of your app by introducing label cohorts. Label cohorts allow you to categorize groups of people who use your app and measure important factors, like revenue or time spent in the app. For example, you can create label cohorts to automatically follow a group of people who installed your app from a specific ad set, so you can understand how much time that group spent in your app and how much money they spent through in-app purchases.

Another key benefit is the ability to A/B test various tactics. With label cohorts you can test different tactics with two different groups and then measure which performs best. For example, you can provide 10 percent of people with a free item within your app, and then measure whether that group spends more than people who didn't get the free item. This is just one of the many strategies this new insight can unlock - it gives you the flexibility to define your own cohorts, which makes App Insights more powerful in building your apps and measuring growth.

Below are some examples of the type of label cohorts a developer could use:

  • Install source cohorts - You can group people by the source from which they installed an app, e.g. Facebook Ad, organic, request, etc. and measure which source brings you the people who spend the most.
  • Action-based cohorts - You can group people who have taken a certain action in your app. For instance, this could be a group of people who've reached a certain level in your game, so you can compare that group to a group that's reached a different level to see who spends more.
  • Time-based cohorts - You can group people who have installed your app in a specific time frame. For instance, you could compare people who installed in June versus July, and see which group spends more time in your app for each month.
  • Story-based cohorts - You can track impressions that you receive from posts to Facebook by people within a particular group, allowing you to determine which groups post the most, or which post the most successful stories back to Facebook.
  • Create your own - This is a flexible system that allows you to test downstream actions and conversion events for groups of people using your app based on whatever criteria you choose.

*Note App Events insights are only available to those who have instrumented app events with the Facebook SDK.

Understand how well you're retaining people in your app

Second, we created a visual way for you to measure how people use your app, based on when they installed it. Our new App Event retention charts will show you what percentage of people took an action for any number of days after installing the app, up to 14 weeks after the install date. With this data, you can determine if certain changes you made to your app resulted in a significant change in engagement. From there, you have the option to run ads or make other changes as a result of knowing this granular, time-specific information. In order to take advantage of this feature, you must be logging App Events with Facebook.

One way to take advantage of this is with the 'app activate' event, which registers a session each time someone opens your app. For example, if a large percentage of the people who installed your app on July 18th continued to open the app ('activate app') for several days after installing, you can then use this information to understand what may have caused the increase (or decrease) in retention. For instance, you could measure the impact a sale or an app update had on retention of people using your app.

The retention chart is available for all the events you log. If you are also logging purchases, you can see what percent of people are making purchases on the day they installed the app, and what percent of people are making purchases on any number of days (up until 14 weeks) after installing the app. If your app is logging 'level 20 complete', you can see the percentage of people who completed level 20 after day 60 to understand how difficult your app might be. All of these insights will now enable you to enhance your current app strategies to improve the performance of your app.

Getting Started with App Events, Now Available For Apps on Facebook

You can get these new insights for both apps on Facebook and native mobile apps. We highly recommend that in order to fully take advantage of these new features that you instrument App Events for all of your downstream conversion events. And starting today, , we are excited to share that App Events is now available for apps on Facebook. This means that you can now measure the activity within your apps on Facebook, run desktop app ads for your highest purchasers and measure the features mentioned above. Start using app events for your apps on Facebook by using our Javascript SDK. For mobile apps, install our Facebook SDK and implement app events to start taking advantage of all these features.

To learn how to use App Insights, check out our tutorial.