What is Session Length? How Does It Affect User Engagement?

Nowadays, mobile apps have become an integral part of everyone’s life and brands are looking for more efficient ways to leverage this relationship. While smartphones have become the dominant channel for accessing digital content, most businesses have not kept pace. Very few are well prepared to successfully maximize mobile technologies success. As such, they often do not adopt best practices for their mobile applications and mobile marketing campaigns. By doing so, they expose themselves to the risk of potentially loosing revenue and jeopardizing the future of their digital marketing program.

App engagement measured in applications help developer teams better understand the value users find in the application. Each user’s time is a limited resource and if users find the application valuable enough to spend time on, app creators can monetize this experience. Finding an adequate user engagement indicator, adapted for a product team’s app, can improve their usefulness and profitability. Businesses can also better understand the needs of their users and respond to the most valuable user groups within their application.

What is user engagement ?

User engagement is defined as “any interaction between your target users and your blog, website or mobile app”. User engagement is measured according to your business objectives and according to the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that you defined upstream.

What is session length?

Session length can be defined as a measuring metric for app engagement. A session typically start when a user opens your app and it ends when the user exits the app for a predetermined timespan.

Given the type and amount of content available in your application, does the time spent on your application seem consistent? If your application offers a significant amount of quality content and features but the session duration seems to be short, this may be a sign of navigation or ergonomic problems. It may therefore be interesting to review and improve your user experience. If the session duration decreases over time, you can assume that users are simply not interested. It may then be time enhance the quality of your content!

What are its advantages?

Compared to frequency of usage, repeated usage or any other user engagement measuring metrics, session length allows for a very accurate measurement of user engagement. While, for instance, the number of app downloads may show that your app has been downloaded for 500.000 times, you’ll notice that only a fraction of this number is made up of users who actually use the app. Therefore, session length, not only allows for the accurate determination of how long a single user session lasted, but also how many of your users are actually using the app.

Measurement ! Measuring session length requires precise knowledge of when a user opens the app and when they stopped using the app. This can be done by tracking the very instance when the app starts to load until the “quit” button is pressed. This measuring process can be done with the help of multiple tools. One of the most prominent session length measuring tools is Google Analytics.