Lifecycle Metrics allow you to group together a set of users by date and measure what the “rolling retention” of usage looks like over time. Of all the users who came in once over a specified period of time, how many of them are still around 3 months later? Understanding how quickly users drop off is crucial for you as you assess the vitality of the product. Lifecycle metrics becomes even more powerful when filtered by a segment. Do females of a certain age range drop off from using your app faster than males? Do users who make an in-app purchase within my app stick around longer?
Lifecycle metrics can be found as its own sub-tab under the Usage tab. When you navigate to the page, you’ll see two selections from the drop down, Rolling Retention and Sessions Per User. Rolling Retention is the ratio of Users still active N after installation. This is a ratio of the number of users actually active on N divided by the number of users who could have been active on N (i.e. the sum of new users up until N). Sessions Per User is the number of sessions generated N after installation divided by the number of users considered active N.
Choosing an Interval
The interval filter at the top right will help you filter users by the time that user installed your app. We recommend conducting analysis on users who installed within short intervals to account for possible outliers to your data, such as advertising campaigns or new releases. Also, as with our metrics elsewhere, user activity is counted just once for each period of the interval, whereas other metrics are summed across that period.
Choosing a Segment
Likewise, segments help filter your users by defining characteristics. Comparing the lifecycle of various ages and genders will give you great insight into the behavior of your users. Be careful when using segments based on install date. If you choose a segment that specifies an install date that does not coincide with the selected interval for your metric, you will see no data.
One-Session Users: The number of users who have only used the app only once since installation.
Users Active on Only One Day: The number of users who have only used the app on the day they installed it and never used it again.
Users Who Returned the Day After Install: The number of users who used the application again the day after their first session.
Retained User: If a user was active on days 0 and 3 after install, he is considered to be a retained user on days 0, 1, 2 and 3.
Day Buckets: The number in each day bucket indicates the percentage of users within the time period selected who are considered retained on that day.
Figure 1. Rolling Retention via Lifecycle Metrics