Author Archives: Archana Madhavan

Why So Many Mobile Apps Get Soft Launched in Australia

When Machine Zone’s Mobile Strike hit the App Store and quickly shot into the top grossing games on iOS and Android, it felt like it came out of nowhere. Today, Mobile Strike nets its creators around $700,000 per day and ranks as the #1 top grossing app in six different countries.

Considering how fickle users supposedly are when it comes to mobile game adoption, we can safely write this off as simply an Arnold Schwarzenegger-assisted miracle, right?

Mobile Strike

But Mobile Strike didn’t come out of nowhere. For months before its official launch, its developers were studying how people reacted to the game and what got them most engaged. They were constantly analyzing and tweaking, testing out different monetization strategies, nailing down its unit economics. And you could have been a guinea pig in this test—but only if you lived in Australia.

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How Often Should People Use Your App?

This article is an excerpt from the first volume of The Product Analytics Playbook: Mastering Retention. Retention is the one metric that matters for sustainable growth. The Playbook is a comprehensive guide to understanding user retention that provides a novel framework for analyzing retention at every stage of the user journey. You can find other excerpts from the Playbook here.

get the playbook here


“Retain or die” is a commonly repeated mantra here at Amplitude and is gathering momentum throughout the tech industry as a whole.

We’ve spent a lot of time talking about what retention is and why it’s important–but before diving into the various strategies and tactics that can improve the metric, we have to first take a step back and think of retention in the context of how users use your product. This comes in two parts.

  1. Understanding your critical event.
  2. Determining your product’s usage interval.

A few weeks ago, we talked about how understanding your product usage starts first with defining your app’s critical event. Your critical event is the one meaningful action you want users to perform in order to be counted as truly “active” or “retained.” This could be submitting an order, sending a message, or starting a new game. The important thing is that this action is at the core of your app’s product experience; it differentiates users who just “show up” from those who actually derive value from your app. (Check out our post on critical events for more details).

Just as important as defining your critical event is determining how often people do it. Today, we’ll be talking about your product’s usage interval, or how often you expect people to use your product, and why it matters for your retention metric.

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Chat Bots Won’t Replace Apps Any Time Soon

In many ways, 2016 has been the year of the bot. With so many successful companies — Slack, Facebook, Microsoft, Google — at the forefront of the chat bot revolution, some have even wondered if this was the beginning of the end for apps as we know it.

We surveyed over 150 individuals who work at software companies in product management, engineering, C-suite, and marketing roles to ask them how they use (or are planning to use) bots for their application.

The results are clear. The media might be playing up chat bots right now but many folks aren’t quite convinced of their value.

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On Going Viral with Siqi Chen

Today we’re excited to share our September Datamonster of the Month story.

The Amplitude Datamonster of the Month series is our way of spotlighting product and growth experts who have made data a central part of their success. Through their stories, we hope to empower other industry professionals with proven analytics strategies and advice for leveraging analytics across their organizations.

We select our Datamonsters based on the impact they have at their respective companies. This ranges from how these individuals enable their entire organization to be data-informed to how they leverage analytics to make meaningful product and marketing decisions.

This month I sat down with our September Datamonster Siqi Chen, Sr. Director of Product at Postmates.

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Is Your App Ready for iOS 10?

Building a mobile app for iOS? Apple’s biggest iOS update offers unprecedented opportunities for developers, marketers, and product teams to reach their users more deeply. Now that you can build integrations into Apple’s core services like Messenger and Siri, you have an opportunity to extend your app’s influence and engage users like never before.

In the light of iOS 10, it’s time to take a closer look at your application and re-assess your user engagement tactics and make sure make sure you have the right analytics in place to track them.

Here are four iOS 10 updates that may affect your app’s user engagement.

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How to Interpret Emotion and Intent Through Behavioral Analytics

You can track a ton of data on how your users interact with your app: how often they come back, what time of day they’re most active, what characteristics make someone more likely to become an active user. But the end-goal is to know not how often your users are active but how they feel and what they want from your app.

Nothing is more important than these two factors:

  • Emotion: Does your app reward its users? Does it make people feel good, or does it bore them? Fundamental to building habitual usage is understanding how to trigger user action, and you do that by tapping into their emotions. Looking at users who are already hooked is the best way to understand how.
  • Intent: What are people trying to do with your app? There’s only one way for an app to succeed—it must bring people to something they want faster, more efficiently, more affordably, or simply better than they could before. Understand where people want to go and you can better optimize your machine to take them there.

When you understand the real root cause of a habit—both from a practical (the job-to-be-done) and psychological standpoint—then it becomes possible to break it—or bring that value to an exponential number of new users.

Understanding the emotion and intent of your users sounds like a lofty, mythical aim, but it’s really nothing more than a step-by-step process.

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