Facebook expands app insights to track growth, retention, re-engagement trends

Facebook is adding three new insights tools for developers to understand the growth and engagement of their applications over time, according to a video on the Facebook Platform page.

Developers will soon see additional data for “growth accounting,” “triangle heat maps” and “drill down.” These charts provide more details about trends in installs, retention and churn, which could help inform developers as they make decisions about marketing their applications or changing features.

The new growth accounting section will break out the number of installs, users retained, users lost and users revived. Revived users are those that previously added the app, become inactive and then re-engaged. This is an improvement over Facebook’s existing app insights that show installs and uninstalls but don’t let developers know specifics about retained or revived users. By seeing these trends over time, developers can determine whether to focus more on new acquisitions, preventing churn or re-engaging inactive users.

Triangle heat maps are another new addition to app insights. These charts will display how users are being retained over time as a function of when they added the app. As seen in the screenshot below, the x-axis shows users or “cohorts” when they installed an app. The y-axis shows “tenure” or time elapsed since the user added the app. Different colors denote levels of engagement. So for example, users that continue to use the app after 10 days might be more engaged so that is shown in red. There could have been some event on Feb. 1 that led those new users to engage very little, and that is shown by the vertical black bar.

A drill down feature will let developers click on a point on the triangle heat map and generate a line graph that plots a cohort’s retention over time. Developers can click multiple points and compare users’ engagement percentages.

Facebook has not yet responded to requests for further information about the new features, including when they will go live for all developers or become available in the API. The video explaining the latest insights can be found here.