Community Tip : Addiction Best Practices - Mixpanel
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Community Tip : Addiction Best Practices

This Community Tip will illustrate how to interpret Mixpanel’s Addiction Report. We’ll walk through some best practices and methods for using the Addiction report to analyze your users’ behavior with an eye towards actionable insights.

Our Retention report shows the portion of your customers or customer cohorts who engage with your application. Mixpanel’s Addiction Report takes it to the next level and analyzes the minimum number of hours or days your users engage with your app.

How to interpret an Addiction Report

The first column of the Addiction report displays the number of users in the cohort displayed on that row, just like our First Time and Recurring Retention reports. In the screenshot below, it means that 6,054 unique users fired an “App Open” event on February 1st. Each of the buckets (column headings) to the right indicate how many hours in day, days in a week, or days in a month users performed the “App Open” event. In the example below, 1,138 of the 6,054 users fired the “App Open” event in at least two hour blocks (more on how addiction is computed here).


Moving beyond DAUs

Many app developers – particularly for social apps – are interested in calculating MAU and DAU (monthly and daily active users, respectively). But what does an “active” user even mean? Is the definition for an “Active User” really the same thing for Amazon as it is for Tinder? Instead of counting anyone who does any activity once as being an “active user,” you can use Addiction to derive a more accurate idea of how truly active your user base is within a period of time. In the same way, you can then go on to analyze any seasonal changes in your users’ addiction levels. An example Addiction report below shows that while the number of DAUs didn’t grow too much between July and August, the number of App Opens has doubled!

Beyond DAU

Building an engaged user base

Some apps require a base of highly engaged users to function, such as two-sided marketplaces, digital economies, and of course dating apps! Without an engaged base of potential matches to reply to messages, users will undoubtedly become frustrated. Mixpanel’s addiction report is well-suited to tell you which acquisition source generates your most addicted users, so you can continue to grow your user base.

To learn which acquisition source provides users who send the most messages, we can build an Addiction report with the event “Message Sent” and segment by the “Acquisition Source” property. In this case, we can compare the segments, and see that users who came from our Twitter ads are more engaged than those who came from Bing, which is a better acquisition source for engaged users than Facebook or Reddit.

are they engaged

Optimizing your pay-to-play games

Imagine a Medieval-themed mobile game that allows players to create knight characters for free. The product monetization team suggests introducing an in-app purchase for characters after several free credits are expended. If character-creation greatly improved the game, you could estimate the amount of revenue you were going to make. Not only that, but you could monitor changes in the frequency after the change went live.


In the above example, we can see that more than one third of the users create multiple characters in a day. That’s quite a potential for monetization!

Invite a friend!

Imagine that many users have sent notes into your feedback box complaining that they need to watch ads before they play your game. One potential solution: inviting three friends to play in exchange for an ad-free experience. This would only be a long-term profitable decision if you knew that players who were invited were more likely to be addicted than players who were not. The addiction chart below, segmented by an Invited User property (true if they are invited; false if they are not) indicates that they are more likely to play the game multiple times day than a user who is not invited!

invite a friend

Hopefully this has been helpful! Have any questions? Please reach out to to speak to someone smart, quickly.

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