mobile app development

Top 8 App Engagement Metrics For Mobile Apps To Track in 2021

After burning the midnight oil on your app, are you still struggling with how to get users for your app? Here’re a few app engagement metrics that actually matter!

Metrics For Mobile Apps

Creating something is a painstaking process, be it a piece of art or a piece of code. The journey doesn't end here though. It’s the start of the longer expedition of getting feedback and making improvements and then monitoring the changes response and the cycle restarts.

The importance of this phenomenon is further heightened in the mobile app industry where there is cutthroat competition for user engagement.

Every app wants to get the biggest chunk of the user’s daily phone usage. It demands that you make wise improvements consistently. This is where the user metrics get involved that allow you to identify any setbacks and monitor the users’ engagement. They can even help make important updates like changing the flow of the app to one that is more frequently used by your users.

Without further ado, if you’re wondering what does the “users” metric measures, here's how you can make app data work for you by tracking critical app engagement metrics.

What is a user engagement metric?

A user engagement metric simply defines a scale to measure your apps’ performance. It can be the number of downloads, frequency of referrals, or even number of clicks on a certain button.

The important thing is, the engagement metric translates into insights that enable the developer/company to analyze their product. Insights are rated to be positive, negative, or neutral, and then the company decides to retain, improve, or remove a feature. Custom mobile app development is a great way to build your app, however, if you ignore the user metrics, you will not be able to scale it up.

Let’s have a look at the most popular app usage metrics used by experts and precise analysis of how to interpret the results of your mobile app.

Top 8 app engagement metrics for your mobile app

The mobile app market is a very dynamic and constant analysis of an app stats is the only way a company can make it to the top and then retain that position. Here are some of the important mobile app metrics that you should monitor keenly to bring app success.

1. Number of downloads

The reason for placing this app engagement metric on top of our list is because Google Play Store includes it on the download page on every app and whilst the Apple App Store does not explicitly share details about an app's number of downloads, it does consider it as an estimate of its quality.

Measuring app downloads indicates the reliability of your app. An app with 1M+ downloads will appeal more to a user than an app with just 10K+ downloads. Download count provides social proof that an app has been tried and tested and is of a certain minimum value that people have downloaded and used it.

On the developer’s side, a periodic count, like downloads per week or month, may be of more usage. Changes in the graph may directly indicate the results of a certain activity such as a marketing campaign or a new feature that was made live in the recent update. You want your app to become popular and the download count is the perfect download to have an idea of its reach.

2. User Count

User count means the number of people who have downloaded the app and have installed it on their device. Irrespective of whether the app is used now and then or not, the user count is representative of the audience who downloaded the app and found it worth retaining on their device.

The total user count can further be divided into two categories - those who actively use the app and others who have kept the app as a decorative in their app drawer. You do not keep clutter in your phone for no reason, right? The same is the case. A person who downloaded the app for the first time decided to keep it because he realized that it was worth installing. While he may not frequently use the app, it might come in handy at some point.

The counter metric to user count is the uninstall ratio. Keep a vigilant eye on the uninstall ratio, especially in the initial hours. If you are experiencing an increase in the uninstall ratio, promptly investigate the reason. You do not want your marketing campaign to waste away in just a few minutes.

3. Active users

Active user count means the number of users who use your mobile app. This metric is one of the most important app usage metrics that you should be concerned about. The number of active users is directly related to the service that your app provides.

It is representative of multiple aspects of the app, including the quality of service, diversity of options, and how your app is the go-to solution to their problems. Now depending upon what the primary purpose of your app is, there will be a native frequency of its usage.

Say, your app is a fitness tracker. The people who have your app on their mobile devices are probably concerned about their health and a majority of them might have a daily exercise plan as well. In this case, daily active users might be a more relatable app usage metric for you.

But if you are a music company and have developed your app as well, your audience doesn't need to listen to your songs daily. In this case, weekly active users will be a more insightful metric.

Similarly, you have broken down your audience into any periodic proportions among anything from hourly active users to annual active users. Each level will bring forward its own set of conclusions.

4. Frequency of usage

Active users that we just discussed are the individual persons who use your app. You may also want to know the number of times a single person uses your app i.e., the frequency of using an average person.

For instance, let’s consider Uber, a taxi service that we all know about. How many times will a person use Uber? One ride to get the place where he wants to be and another to get back home, this makes it two rides a day. Then once they get home, they might want to get some food as well. But if the same person has his own, they might use the app in extraordinary conditions but again twice in the same day.

Change of scenario, you are no longer Uber. Yours is a heartbeat and pressure monitor that works with a fitness band, the average frequency of usage for you might be thrice a day.

5. Time in the app

Time in the app simply means how much time a user spends in your app or the duration your app gets to be on the device’s screen. This the actual interaction of the user with your app. Again, time in the app will vary for every type of app. It may be 1.5 hours for a game like Call of Duty and 3 minutes for a dictionary like Merriam Webster.

6. Retention

User retention is a very common buzzword that simply means the ratio of users returning to your app after they have installed it. It translates into the app's tendency to attract users towards itself. In simpler words, for a user to be retained, the app should provide him/her a reason to do so. It should not just be sitting idle on the home screen, right?

This can be improved by pushing notifications and daily reminders that are eye-catching and indicate beneficial offerings.

While retention will indicate the reasons for users returning to the app, churn is the exact opposite. Churn is defined as the ratio of users abandoning the app. It will indicate your pain points, and eventually, the aspects that you should improve.

7. Conversion

Conversion is one of the very important app engagement metrics for an online shopping app and anything similar that has some goals that it wants to achieve with its users.

The user spends 3 hours daily playing your game, but if he/she does not spend on the app purchases, you as a company are not getting the best of his/her activity.

8. Lifetime value

Lifetime value translates into the net worth of your average user. To provide a certain feature to a user, you will have to incur some expenses. This includes the effort for developing the feature, the marketing campaigns, and the daily reminders as well.

In turn, the user will reap certain benefits by making purchases or seeing the ads. These will be the source of your income and the net difference of the return and the expenditures on a user will give the lifetime value of your user.

The lifetime value is one of the very useful mobile app performance metrics with regards to the costing and pricing decisions for your company and will help you to develop strategies to continue operating in profits.


While the above user engagement metrics provide a generic idea of the things that you should be monitoring, make sure that you modify them to your specific product and correlate the numbers with logical reasoning. This analysis will provide you with insights to improve your product and your business. A professional mobile app development agency can help you work on all the above app usage metrics and provide you fine insights that can help scale up your app.

Aparna <span>Growth Strategist</span>
Written By
Aparna Growth Strategist

Aparna is a growth specialist with handsful knowledge in business development. She values marketing as key a driver for sales, keeping up with the latest in the Mobile App industry. Her getting things done attitude makes her a magnet for the trickiest of tasks. In free times, which are few and far between, you can catch up with her at a game of Fussball.

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