Facebook is more than just the largest social-media platform on the planet. The Menlo Park, Calif.-based behemoth also uses its vast resources to help app developers make super-smart products.
If you haven’t already, say hello to Facebook Analytics for Apps. Since launching in 2015, more than 800,000 unique apps have used the service. And for good reason.
Facebook recently added web measurement and cross-platform analytics to the service’s growing stable of services. Leveraging demographics and rich audience insights from Facebook’s 1.7 billion users, the service offers developers a simple, streamlined way to understand the people who use their native mobile apps, desktop web and mobile web presences.
With that knowledge, developers can optimize the customer experience and reach them more effectively. Facebook Analytics for Apps goes beyond the usual stats like age and gender to provide anonymized and aggregated audience information including job titles, education level and even what Facebook Pages your customers like.
“Driving retention, engagement and conversion are important [for developers] and we wanted to lean on our expertise and infrastructure to help partners with the full set of growth tools,” says Facebook Product Manager Josh Twist.
“We have a saying to ‘think people, not devices,’” he continues. “If you’re not looking at a cross-platform picture to understand how individuals are using multiple devices then you’re not fully understanding user behavior.”
And it’s 100 percent free to use. You don’t need to use Facebook Login or any other of the company’s products to start developing smarter apps with Facebook Analytics for Apps.
Here, Twist talks about three tools within Facebook Analytics for Apps that highlight the service’s power to help developers create smarter apps and grow their businesses:
Cohorts: User retention is one of the most important parts of a developer’s growth strategy. As Twist says, “Without good retention you’re just pouring new customers into a leaky bath.”
The cohorts tool allows product teams to understand the retentive qualities of any event. For example, you can answer questions like “for a person who made a purchase in their first week as a user, how likely are they to return to the product in the following weeks?” Or, “how likely are they to make another purchase?”
“You can see this data by cohort which allows you to see how changes you make to your app are improving your retention over time,” Twist says. With cohorts, you also can see how the lifetime value of customers improves as you make improvements to your product.
Funnels: For product teams, funnels is a common concept that helps them understand how customers are moving through their key processes, such as registration, completing a share or checking out.
“With the introduction of cross-platform analytics, we can help you understand how individuals are moving through these processes across multiple devices,” Twist explains. “By understanding where people drop off or struggle in your funnel, you can test improvements to your product experience at those specific points and help improve conversion.”
The funnels tool also shows whom among your customers searched on your iOS or Android app but checked out on the Web. This data can be critical for business owners so that they can allocate resources more intelligently across all of the platforms they support, Twist says.
Push Campaigns: With this tool, simply integrate Facebook’s SDK into your iOS or Android app and anyone on your team can configure automated campaigns to send push and in-app notifications – based on user behavior.
These in-app notifications are rich media cards that can be designed “in minutes” using Facebook Analytics for Appp’s visual design tool, Twist says.
An example Twist notes: Say a visitor to your app adds an item to their cart but doesn’t check out. Within four hours, “why not send them a gentle nudge with a push notification? With push campaigns, you can.
To get started using Facebook Analytics for Apps, check out Facebook’s Quickstart Guide today.