App Engagement


What is App Engagement and How to measure it?

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Team Storyly
May 22, 2023
0 min read

What is app engagement


App engagement is the degree of interaction and involvement a user has with an application. This involvement is not merely about the frequency of app usage, but also encompasses the quality of the interactions, the depth of user involvement, and the overall experience.

 What is a good app engagement

As a general internet standard, an engagement rate between 1% and 5% is considered to be good enough app engagement.

Why is App Engagement Important

App engagement is a critical aspect of the success and vitality of mobile and web applications. Its importance stems from several key factors that directly impact the overall performance and sustainability of an app.

Driving Business Success

For commercial apps, high levels of engagement often translate into increased revenue. Engaged users are more likely to make in-app purchases, subscribe to services, or engage in activities that generate revenue. Additionally, engaged users tend to use the app more frequently and for longer periods, which can lead to more opportunities for monetization.

Building Customer Loyalty and Brand Reputation

App engagement is closely tied to customer loyalty. Users who find an app engaging are more likely to return to it, rely on it, and recommend it to others. This loyalty not only helps in retaining existing users but also in acquiring new ones through word-of-mouth referrals. High engagement levels thus contribute to building a strong brand reputation, an invaluable asset in the competitive app market.

Offering Valuable Insights Through User Data

Engaged users provide a wealth of data through their interactions with the app. This data is invaluable for understanding user behavior, preferences, and needs. Analyzing engagement metrics can guide app developers and business strategists in making informed decisions about feature enhancements, marketing strategies, and overall user experience improvements.

Ensuring App Relevance and Longevity

In a rapidly evolving digital landscape, maintaining user engagement is key to ensuring an app’s relevance and longevity. Apps that fail to engage users risk becoming obsolete, as users are quick to move to more compelling alternatives. Continuous engagement helps in keeping the app at the forefront of users' minds, ensuring it remains a go-to solution in its category.

Facilitating Continuous Improvement

Engagement metrics serve as a feedback loop for app developers. By understanding how users interact with the app, developers can identify areas for improvement, fix issues, and introduce features that enhance the user experience. This process of continuous improvement is essential for keeping the app relevant and maintaining a competitive edge.

Balancing Monetization and User Experience

App engagement is crucial for finding the right balance between monetization and user experience. Apps need to monetize to be sustainable, but overly aggressive monetization can harm user experience and engagement. High engagement levels can indicate that the app has struck the right balance, offering value to users while successfully implementing monetization strategies.

How to measure app engagement

It is essential for businesses to measure app engagement in order to understand how their users interact with their mobile applications. Measuring app engagement helps mobile app businesses to determine the room for improvement, offer more enhanced user experiences and eventually generate greater revenue.

Here you can find ways to measure app engagement:

  1. User Analytics
  2. User Retention
  3. App Store Reviews
  4. In-App Surveys
  5. A/B Testing
  6. Heat Maps

User Analytics

Businesses may use user analytics tools like Google Analytics, Mixpanel, Firebase and so in order to get extensive data on how their users behave within their app. Such tools provide information on the number of users, their demographics, time spent in the app, frequency of visit, frequency of use, in-app activities and actions and much more.  

User Retention

One of the most important metrics for measuring app engagement is user retention. By definition, user retention is calculated as the percentage of users who come back to the app within a particular time period. User retention can be measured through using tools such as Google Analytics and Firebase through which businesses can check the number of users who come back to the app during determined time periods like 7 days, 14 days or 30 days.  

App Store Reviews

App store reviews are a great source of user feedback. They offer in-depth insight with regard to user satisfaction, frustrations, and complaints. Businesses should monitor app store reviews in order to determine the issues with app experience that may have an impact on user engagement and take necessary actions to solve them.   

In-App Surveys

In-app surveys are used for collecting user feedback effectively. There are tools such as SurveyMonkey or Typeform to develop such surveys and get user feedback in areas like app usability, new feature adoption, overall user satisfaction, and so on. 

Businesses may benefit also from Storyly’s interactive stickers to create quick surveys. With response rates higher than 50%, interactive Stories provide to be a great way of collecting user feedback to enhance user engagement.

With Storyly's interactive stickers, businesses can create simple, multiple-choice questions users can answer with a single tap. Using these questions can provide valuable insights into user preferences, opinions, and behaviors regarding specific topics or areas of interest.

An advantage of using interactive Stories for surveys is that they tend to have higher response rates than traditional surveys. The reason for this is probably because the questions are presented visually appealingly, and the content is already engaging users.

Storyly's interactive stickers enable businesses to gather feedback quickly and easily, and use that information to improve their products, services, and overall user experience. In turn, this leads to greater user engagement, loyalty, and satisfaction, which can lead to business growth.

A/B Testing

A/B Testing is done via comparing different versions of an app with each other to see which one yields better results. Tools like Google Optimize, Adobe Target, and Firebase can be used to test alternative versions of an app and check the metrics of user engagement to decide which version is performing better. 

Heat Maps

Heat Maps are defined as graphical visualization of user behavior within an app. Businesses can benefit from heatmaps to generate insights on how their users interact with the app, which features or the app is most adopted and popular, and where they seem to be losing their users.  

These methods for measuring app engagement can provide businesses with in-depth insights on how their users interact with their mobile applications. By using this information, businesses can design better user experiences which would in return drive user satisfaction, user loyalty and eventually generate in more revenue. 

By using these methods to measure app engagement, businesses can gain a deeper understanding of how users interact with their mobile applications. This information can help businesses create better user experiences, increase user satisfaction, and ultimately drive more revenue.

App engagement metrics

App engagement metrics are the various measures used to assess user engagement with a mobile application. These metrics provide insights into user behavior, app performance, and overall app success. Understanding these metrics is essential for businesses that rely on mobile apps to drive revenue, build brand loyalty, and provide a seamless customer experience.

Here are the most common app engagement metrics that businesses should track:

Factors That Affect App Engagement

  • User experience and design
  • Relevance and usefulness of the app
  • Frequency of updates and improvements
  • Availability of customer support
  • Integration with social media and other platforms

Strategies to Improve App Engagement

Below there are some of the most effective app user engagement tips to implement to improve your app engagement drastically. To get more detailed strategies about how to improve app engagement you can visit our blog post Proven Strategies to Increase App Engagement

1. Flawless User Experience

One effective way to increase mobile app engagement is by providing a flawless user experience for your users. But what makes a mobile app design flawless?

While every UX designer has their views and best practices when designing mobile application interfaces, it always helps make your designs work for new users of your application.

This is where the knowledge of mental models comes into play. Mental models are important in user engagement UX design because they serve as a guide to help you build an app that meets your user’s expectations.

Instead of new users going through a learning curve just to get familiar with your app interface, you can make your app intuitive to them.

2. Simple Onboarding

Onboarding is simply the process of helping new users of your mobile application understand its interface and features. So, you need to remove any awkward uncertainties that come with trying out your app for the first time.

A simple onboarding experience aims to simplify how your product will help your users achieve their goals.

So how do you engage users with onboarding? A simple app onboarding process combines education, inspiration, actionable and timely insights. In other words, it helps to prove to new users that your product is the solution to whatever problem that motivated them to install your app in the first place.

3. Gamification

Another way to improve your in-app engagement is by gamifying your app. Gamification is a fascinating concept used in mobile app development involving game design elements in non-gaming apps.

How  gamification increases user engagement is simple: the same way a mobile game builds curiosity, cultivates competition, and improves user engagement. Gamifying your mobile app introduces innovative ways to improve your overall app user engagement. Accordingly, developers can introduce levels, in-app currencies, badges and stickers, points, challenges, and other forms of incentives to increase user engagement and retention.

4. Smart Personalization

The tech world is advancing, and smart personalization is fundamental to any app engagement marketing strategy.

Providing a personalized experience for your users is now a possibility, thanks to advances in artificial intelligence (AI). Relevant data about your users is now made readily available. Taking full advantage of this information will help increase your app engagement.

Your app will attempt to understand and meet your customers’ intent when they’re researching or asking questions about your brand or products. This algorithm automatically understands your user’s individual preferences and serves up the most relevant information.

5. In-App Marketing

What is in-app marketing? In-app marketing is a very effective strategy that developers and brands use to engage, upsell and introduce existing users of their apps to new products and services.

This strategy allows you to take advantage of your already existing user base. You develop a marketing campaign and deploy it within your mobile application to be displayed to your customers while they’re actively using your app.

Developers and business owners can use in-app marketing to use real-time and personalized messages to help engage their customers.

6. Efficient User Segmentation

Segmentation in mobile app marketing simply refers to the crucial process of dividing your user base into specific groups based on their shared characteristics. Like every other business, segmentation of your app users allows you to target your in-app marketing campaigns. Eventually, it increases your chances of being more profitable and successful in the long run.

Instead of pushing irrelevant app notifications or emails to your users, you can significantly increase your mobile app engagement by utilizing more efficient user segmentation.

7. Two-Way Communication

Two-way communication is an interesting user engagement feature in which communication is negotiated. It’s a very effective form of interactive mobile marketing where both sender and receiver (you and your users) listen to each other and are willing to make changes to keep both parties happy and living in harmony.

This form of interactive mobile marketing increases engagement in mobile apps and helps to build trust.

8. Loyalty Programs

Loyalty programs are another great way to encourage people to use your app for a longer time. These incentive programs aim to increase app engagement and user retention.

When people are rewarded for being loyal to your brand for a certain period, it encourages new users who are new to your app to stick around longer and be more active users.

Improve App Engagement with Storyly

Consider integrating Storyly if you are looking for a unique way to engage your app users. With Storyly, you can create and stream high-quality, engaging App Stories that help you connect with users. 

Storyly’s full-screen, interactive App Stories will allow you to speak to users more directly, foster participation, and eventually improve the user experience. You may add customizable CTA buttons, interactive stickers, or product tags to skyrocket user engagement and drive conversion. Using App Stories, you may display your products and services, build the hype around them with product tags and swipe-ups, and make shopping a special occasion for your users. 

Another great advantage of using Storyly Stories is being able to provide personalized experiences to app users. Personalized Stories are an excellent way to make users feel special and reward their engagement with your brand. For instance, if you have a shopping app, you may display personalized offers to users on Stories. You can wish your users “happy birthday”, celebrate their anniversaries and offer them personalized promo codes for your products. This way, you can reinforce brand loyalty, cultivate stronger relationships, and keep your users engaged on the app.

Challenges in Boosting App Engagement

Boosting app engagement is a key objective for app developers and businesses, but it comes with a variety of challenges. Navigating these challenges effectively is crucial for maintaining and increasing user interaction with an app. Below are some of the primary challenges and considerations in boosting app engagement:

1. Saturated Market and User Attention

  • The app market is highly saturated, with millions of apps vying for user attention. Standing out in this crowded space is a significant challenge. Users have a vast array of choices, making it difficult for any single app to capture and retain their attention for long periods.

2. Balancing Monetization and User Experience

  • Most apps need to generate revenue, but integrating monetization strategies without hampering the user experience is a delicate balance. Overuse of ads, in-app purchases, or subscription models can be intrusive and may lead to decreased user engagement.

3. Maintaining Continuous Engagement

  • Initiating user engagement is one thing; maintaining it over time is another. Users' interests and needs can change, and an app that once seemed indispensable can quickly become irrelevant if it fails to evolve with its user base.

4. User Retention

  • Acquiring new users is often less challenging than retaining them. Many apps see a significant drop in user engagement after the initial download, with users either becoming inactive or uninstalling the app. Developing strategies to keep users interested and engaged over the long term is a key challenge.

5. Personalization vs. Privacy

  • Personalization can significantly enhance user engagement, but it requires collecting and analyzing user data. Balancing this with growing concerns over privacy and data protection is increasingly challenging. Users are more aware and cautious about their data, and apps must navigate these concerns carefully.

6. Adapting to Technological Changes and User Expectations

  • The rapid pace of technological change means that apps must continually adapt to new platforms, devices, and user expectations. Keeping up with these changes, such as the integration of AI, AR/VR, or new social features, requires constant innovation and resources.

7. Measuring Engagement Effectively

  • Understanding what metrics best indicate engagement for a particular app is a challenge. Incorrectly interpreting data or focusing on the wrong metrics can lead to misguided strategies that do not effectively boost engagement.

8. Creating a Seamless User Experience

  • Ensuring that an app is intuitive, easy to navigate, and free from technical glitches is fundamental to engagement. Technical issues, poor design, or a complicated user interface can quickly deter users.

9. Global and Cultural Considerations

  • For apps with a global user base, catering to different cultural preferences and languages is essential. What works in one region may not resonate in another, making the creation of universally engaging content and features challenging.

10. Responding to Feedback and Market Trends

  • Continuously gathering and responding to user feedback is essential for keeping an app relevant and engaging. However, sifting through feedback and deciding which suggestions to implement can be a complex process.

App Engagement Examples By Top Engaging Mobile Apps

Over the years, we’ve seen successful brands utilize some app engagement best practices to increase the way people interact with their apps. Below are some of the most popular examples of top mobile apps that you can learn from.

1. “Only You” Campaign by Spotify

The Spotify “Only You” Campaign is an ingenious marketing strategy that takes full advantage of the smart personalization mobile app engagement strategy mentioned earlier.

The “Only You” global campaign provides users with a complete in-app experience that allows you to create personalized playlists in fun and engaging ways. This allows users to share their stats with the in-app experience.Find out more about the “Only You” Campaign by Spotify.


2. Live Shopping Events by NTWRK

In some places around the world, live stream shopping is already a growing business trend, but after the COVID restrictions, the trend is becoming increasingly popular in the United States.

Launched in 2018, NTWRK is a live shopping platform that focuses specifically on curated product drops. These products are so unique and can’t be found anywhere else.

NTWRK has taken full advantage of this trend by introducing live shopping events. In this way, it provides a platform for brands and influencers to pitch their products to users so that they can engage directly and instantly click through to make a purchase.


3. The Nike Run Club App by Nike

Nike Run Club is a special application by a popular footwear company, Nike. To provide a better way to engage their customers, the app provides runners with a personalized experience to help them run better and track their running goals.

So how does the Nike Run Club App drive user retention to become the number one running app in the world? This is because Nike has been able to gamify the app’s user experience in several remarkable ways.

Users can unlock challenging milestones, benefit from a reward system, and compete on leaderboards. This helps to increase user engagement and retention.

Through smart personalization features, Nike collects valuable data about their users’ chosen sports, preferred styles, and activity levels. They then create a personalized experience that effectively keeps app users on the app 3 times longer.Find out more about the Nike Run Club App.

4. Tinder

Being one of the most popular dating apps in the world today, Tinder has evolved over the years to provide one of the most exciting user engagement experiences in the mobile app industry by combining the best of first impressions, gamification, and flattery.

With simple swiping gestures, a personalized match suggestion system tailored to their users’ taste, and a way to connect to popular social networking sites, Tinder is making it 100 times easier for people to find and build genuine relationships.

The Future of App Engagement

The future of app engagement is likely to be shaped by rapid technological advancements, changing user behaviors, and evolving market trends. Understanding these dynamics is crucial for app developers and marketers aiming to stay ahead in an increasingly competitive landscape. Below, we explore some key trends and predictions that are expected to influence the future of app engagement:

1. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

AI and machine learning are poised to revolutionize app engagement by enabling more sophisticated personalization and predictive analytics. AI can help in understanding user preferences in real-time, offering personalized content, recommendations, and interactive experiences.

2. Augmented and Virtual Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technologies are expected to create more immersive and interactive app experiences. This could range from AR-enhanced shopping experiences to VR-based gaming and education apps, offering new dimensions of engagement.

3. Voice and Conversational Interfaces

The rise of voice assistants and conversational AI is likely to lead to more apps integrating voice functionality. This shift could make apps more accessible and engaging, particularly in scenarios where hands-free interaction is preferred.

4. Internet of Things (IoT) Integration

As the IoT ecosystem expands, apps that can seamlessly integrate with a variety of smart devices will offer enhanced engagement opportunities. This integration can lead to more context-aware and responsive app experiences.

5. 5G and Improved Connectivity

The rollout of 5G networks is expected to enable faster, more reliable app experiences. This enhanced connectivity could facilitate more complex, data-intensive app features, such as high-quality streaming or real-time collaboration.

6. Focus on Privacy and Security

With increasing awareness of data privacy and security, apps that can offer robust security features while ensuring user privacy will likely see higher engagement. Transparency in data usage and giving users control over their data will be critical.

7. Increased Use of Analytics and Big Data

The ability to analyze vast amounts of data will continue to play a crucial role in understanding and enhancing app engagement. Big data analytics can offer deeper insights into user behavior, enabling more effective personalization and engagement strategies.

8. Cross-Platform and Omnichannel Experiences

Users expect a seamless experience across devices and platforms. The future will likely see more apps offering omnichannel engagement, where user interaction can smoothly transition between devices and platforms.

9. Sustainable and Socially Responsible Apps

There is a growing trend towards sustainability and social responsibility in technology. Apps that align with these values, either through their content, functionality, or business practices, may engage a more socially-conscious user base.

10. Gamification and Interactive Elements

Incorporating game-like elements and interactive features into non-gaming apps can significantly boost engagement. Gamification techniques like rewards, challenges, and leaderboards can make app usage more enjoyable and compelling.


Team Storyly

Group of experts from Storyly's team who writes about their proficiency.