5 Key Uses for Facebook’s Analytics for Apps

Facebook introduced analytics for apps at F8 in March, and the social network recently published a white paper outlining five ways for developers to take full advantage of the information available to them.

Facebook introduced analytics for apps at its F8 global developers conference in March, and the social network recently published a white paper outlining five ways for application developers to take full advantage of the information available to them.

Facebook’s “get started” checklist follows:

  • Map out your customer path and log events for each key action people take in your app.
  • Combine funnels with demographics to find opportunities to improve your user experience.
  • Take advantage of cohorts to optimize for retention and lifetime value.
  • Use segments to build audiences for acquisition and re-engagement.
  • Check out our analytics developer docs and help center for videos and best practices.

And the social network’s five tips are:

Improve measurement by mapping your customer’s journey

The social network recommends determining the key actions app users typically take in order to figure out the best key points for ad insertion, stressing that each app is different, but saying that the following events should be tracked for most apps:

  • App installs
  • App launches
  • Completed registration
  • Completed tutorial
  • Viewed content


Optimize your user flow with segments and funnels

Facebook recommends using funnels to determine when users are dropping off apps, saying that funnels can help improve processes including registrations, purchases/checkouts, invitations and sharing flows.

Segments can be based on specific attributes (country, device) or demographics (age, gender), and they can then be used to filter funnels. Facebook offered the following examples:

  • People using a specific version of iOS.
  • People on older versions of apps.
  • People under the age of 34.
  • People who speak a specific language.


Increase your retention and lifetime value with cohorts

Cohorts help developers compare users’ actions at different points in time within apps, and people can be grouped based on the times they took actions together, such as installing the apps. They are also useful for helping developers understand retention and churn over time, with the social network stressing that lifetime value is critical because the costs of acquiring new users are often higher than the money made from those users over their first 30 days on the app.


Grow your audience by defining key segments

Facebook described segments as powerful filters that can be used on top of funnels or cohorts to answer specific questions about specific groups of users, offering as an example the ability to create a segment of Android users that account for the top 10 percent of all sales in order to learn more about what they enjoy.

Improve your marketing efficiency through automation

For free and organic marketing, the social network recommended optimizing apps’ presences in app store search engines and on landing screens, as well as hosting real or virtual events.

Shifting to paid marketing, Facebook suggested using its ad-targeting capabilities, specifically lookalike audiences, and the following suggestion for improving re-engagement were offered:

  • Prevent churn: Target ads to those who’ve installed your app in the past 14 days but haven’t opened it in the past seven days.
  • Engage active users: Target ads to people who looked at many products but didn’t purchase.
  • Re-market specific products: Target someone who looked at a specific product but didn’t purchase it.

david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.