The competition in the mobile applications and games market is quite tough. In February 2023 alone, about 87 thousand mobile applications were released through the Google Play Store. Focusing only on installs is not enough for an app to be successful, and this is where user engagement comes into play.
Let’s look at the most important user engagement metrics for mobile apps.
What is Engagement?
Engagement is a vague concept that changes its meaning depending on the context. In the case of mobile apps and games, this is a measure of how your app is perceived by users, how useful (or fun) it is for them, and how well it fits their goals. Basically it is about the frequency of visits, the duration of these visits and the achievement of the target action.
Engagement tracking can give additional insight into the quality of newly acquired traffic, UX, overall app value, and even some technical weaknesses. User engagement is measured by a number of metrics, and none of them alone can provide actionable data sufficient to make a decision. To get data-backed answers, you need to look at the bigger picture.
Top 12 User Engagement Metrics
1. Number of sessions
The number of sessions is the total number of application launches. In this case, saying that “the more the better” is wrong, because the metric varies greatly depending on the niche. You hardly open the travel app every day, because it depends on the season, while you open your favorite game several times a day, creating many sessions.
2. Average session length
Average session length measures the time between application launch (session start) and exit (session finish). Again, as with the number of sessions, you should not aim for a longer session. The “ideal” length depends entirely on the type (app/game) and niche.
3. Conversion rate
The conversion rate is the percentage of users who take a certain action out of the total number of users. In the case of your ultimate goal (e.g. purchase), you can say that these users are the most engaged because they installed the app and reached the goal.
4. DAU, WAU, MAU
Daily Active Users, Weekly Active Users, and Monthly Active Users
These are three important metrics of user engagement. The difference between them is that in the first case you count daily numbers, in the second you count weekly numbers, and in the third case you count monthly numbers. In general, this is the number of active users who opened the application in a certain period of time. The higher they are, the better.
Lifetime is the entire period of time between the installation of the application and the moment when the user leaves forever. In a nutshell, the lifetime metric describes the average time a user stays active on a project. As with stickiness and retention rate, the higher the score, the better.
6. Sticky factor
Sticky factor is the DAU/MAU ratio. “Sticky apps” are highly engaging and have a large number of users who open them on a regular basis. This is perhaps the most important engagement metric that shows how valuable your app is to users.
7. Retention rate
Retention rate is a famous and widely-used metric. There is no single “retention rate” because this is the percentage of users who engaged with the app at a specific day.
devtodev users often calculate day 7 retention rate (the number of users who installed the app one week ago and opened it again on the 7th day), as well as day 1, day 28, and day 360 retention rate.
It is somewhat similar to the sticky factor mentioned above because it reveals the percentage of people who open your product more than once and therefore are engaged with it.
Check out 5 other user engagement metrics in the full version of this article on the devtodev website.