Measuring Uninstall Tracking: 4 Methods for Marketers

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A Breakdown of Different Methods for Tracking Uninstalls

  1. App Login Metrics (Probabilistic)  Pull a list of users’ devices who haven’t logged in for X days (whatever is most likely given that sometimes people don’t use apps for a number of months). For example, you may look at 60 days and choose to look at that data to see if you feel they qualify as ‘likely to have uninstalled’ and treat them as such.
  2. Silent Push Notifications (Deterministic)  To detect uninstalls for either Android or iOS, one method is to send silent push notifications to see if the service complains that the install no longer exists (in other words, that the user de-registered). This can tell you they’re not there anymore. For example, let’s say you’re a news app —you can send push information about an big news update, and proactively determine which users have uninstalled. The benefit of using this method is it gives you access to information that you as an application maintainer don’t have. You can’t get this data on your own, which is why it can be helpful and valuable to attain.
  3. Aggregate Numbers  Another method is you can look at the Apple App store or Google Play. With credentials, you can hit an API to find out how many installs there are within a window such as “last 30 days.” For example, there is a way to retrieve uninstall statistics from the Google Play store. Problem there is that it doesn’t tell you who uninstalled the app — it just gives you the raw count.  That’s not to say the raw count isn’t valuable, though.
  4. Anything Else… You’re On Your Own!  An app can see when other apps have been uninstalled, which can give you a bit of insight (at least for Android). For example, if a company that has a number of apps on one device, you if others go, you can listen and take note.

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