Something about the app stores and the numbers you shall not trust

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Mar 10, 2016 6:15:37 PM via Website

Do you think that loading your mobile app on the app store and then looking on the nice diagrams is enough to understand the quantity of app's audience? Not at all.

Each app store provides its own install statistics and sometimes other information. But nowadays this data is not enough.

We released some apps and then realized that we're doing something wrong. But to figure out what had particularly been done wrong was difficult. We saw only the amount of installs from different markets, and it didn't provide any information about our customers.

To understand your customers, you need to get the more and more information about their actions in the app. This information is provided by different analytic services. We used Flurry – it helps us to monitor the first app launch and to define from which market the build has been installed. Then we collect the data and get the Launch/Install index, and it can tell us which market is the most efficient in this case.

What do we see after collecting data based on several different apps?
Quite interesting results.


While the situation on Google Play isn't surprising – it seems to be rational, that not every person who installed the app would launch it at least one time, - in case with the Amazon ad the Opera market we see some abnormalities.

The developer console on Amazon often understates the real amount of installs – we had this thing with all our apps except one. And Opera shows very low amount of launches.

Which conclusions could we make with this data?

  1. Our analytic service is incorrect
  2. Data from markets is particularly incorrect
  3. There are some bots among the markets customers
  4. Particular characteristics of the audience on different markets influences the
    amount of launches

The first variant is unlikely, because Flurry is one of the largest analytic tools and known as quite sustainable. Except this, in this case the abnormalities wouldn't be regular.
The second variant seems to be the most likely, maybe in combination with the third. But bots downloading apps not against order seem strange too.

It is important to pay attention that Opera is a sort of multiplier and places apps in a huge amount of other stores: Beeline, Blackberry, Nokia, Yandex.Store and others. Probable some data sends incorrectly at this level.

The last variant, about the audience, seems to be unlikely too, but it could be true. Opera customers could often forget about what they just installed and Amazon customers have bought a pair of devices and play testers in their spare time.

Except for the launch/install conversion you need to consider the expected amount of installs. Because the platform giving the high conversion and low amount of installs could be worse than the one diving the huge amount of installs but with low conversion.

Let's take average numbers from our practice and round them to a thousand of installs. The bigger amount of installs brings Opera and Google Play. It would seem that we have the obvious leader.


But here we remember our indexes and realize that Opera, which leads by installs for nearly 30%, will have 17% less launches than Google Play, which has the second position by installs. And we can ignore Amazon in both cases.

We can make the simple conclusion: don't trust the numbers in app stores implicitly, use analytics, know your customers and have a finger on the pulse of your apps.

Hereafter we plan to speak more about analytics in mobile games and some of its aspects aligned with specifics of different app stores.

We'll be glad to hear your opinion or experience in this theme.
Write comments or tweet: @BrainValley.

Thanks for your attention!

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Mar 15, 2016 10:16:05 PM via Website

I've never taken the total downloads/installs as a solid indicator. I'd rather trust the analytics. Great post!

  • Forum posts: 2

Mar 16, 2016 3:05:41 PM via Website

Thanks for your feedback!