This week the mobile industry took over the city of Barcelona, Spain for Mobile World Congress 2013. This conference gathers more than 50,000 people who work in the mobile industry and they all bring their devices with them. So this week we took a quick look at how mobile activity in Barcelona changed from the week before the event to this week, specifically focusing on Sunday, February 17 – Tuesday, February 19 compared to Sunday, February 23 – Tuesday, February 26.
While it was not surprising that mobile activity in Barcelona almost doubled during MWC, the change in activity on the OS and device manufacturer level was interesting. In the three day window the week before MWC, Barcelona was predominantly an Android town. 85% of mobile activity happened on devices running the Android OS and only 14% of mobile activity happened on iOS devices. But this mix changed during the week of MWC. From Sunday, February 23 – Tuesday, February 26, 53% of mobile activity in Barcelona happened on devices running the Android OS and iOS devices generated 46% of mobile activity.
A number of device manufacturers make devices running the Android OS, so we also took a look at the how the levels of activity changed on the manufacturer level during the week of MWC. In Barcelona on Sunday, February 17 – Tuesday, February 19 the most activity on Android OS devices came from Samsung smartphones with 62%, followed by Sony Ericsson with 17%, LGE with 13% and HTC with 6%. Compare this to activity in Barcelona on Sunday, February 23 – Tuesday, February 26 in Barcelona where 58% of Android OS activity happened on Samsung devices, followed by Acer with 32% and HTC, Sony Ericsson, LGE with devices from each generated less than 5% of total activity.
Ever wonder what would happen if you combine 16 co-workers that have limited cooking skills with 4 food prep stations, a complex French menu and a whole lot of sharp knives, open flames & hot ovens? Well in Mixpanel’s case, we got a delicious meal and a fun night out as a team.
Big thank you to the crew from Hands on Gourmet that made us feel like we contributed, but really did all the hard work to ensure the food turned out amazing.
Mixpanel is as data driven as we encourage our customers to be. We focus on One Key Metric (OKM) and track a core set of metrics on our business. But we also sit on top of a large set of data based on the more than 6.5 billion actions we analyze each month we have interesting insights into consumer behavior and the devices they use to access web sites and apps. Based on the positive feedback on the data snapshot we shared at Christmas, we’re going to start sharing aggregate insights from this data set on a more regular basis.
In this first data snapshot we focused on the browsers used by consumers to access the Internet from their desktop or laptop computer. Given how simple it is for a consumer to download and start using a new web browser on their computer, it’s a clear area where consumer choice rules.
This snapshot of web browser share uses data from the week of Wednesday, February 13 through Wednesday, February 20, 2013. During this week the top web browser used by consumers on their desktop and/or laptop computer was Chrome with 39% of all the desktop actions Mixpanel analyzed globally. Safari had the next highest share with 21%, Internet Explorer with 19% and finally Firefox with 18% of actions.
When we segmented actions by browser share and by Operating System (OS) we found a clear difference in between computers running Microsoft Windows OS and the Mac OS. On desktop computers running the Microsoft Windows OS Chrome was the #1 browser with 42% of actions, IE was next with 37% and Firefox rounded out the top three with 19% of actions.
It’s a different story on desktop Apple devices. Safari was the #1 browser on desktop and laptop computers running versions of the Mac OS with 53% of actions, Chrome was next with 32% and Firefox rounded out the top three with 13%.
The barrier to change on desktop browsers is lower than ever before. It’s very simple for consumers to download and start using a new browser on their desktop or laptop computer, so this data snapshot provides good insight into their choices today. It will be interesting to watch how browser share on desktop changes over time.
Happy President’s Day! Last week we released a new feature that makes it so you can still be the main admin/owner of your project and have our billing receipts emailed to your finance department.
If you currently own the account, just add an email into the “Additional billing email” area (located in your Account settings). Once you have, we’ll bcc people on the other end of the email with the receipt we send you every month.
At Mixpanel we build products we want to use and as a marketer I could not wait to get my hands on Notifications (formerly Engage). As soon as it launched, we moved 100% of our marketing emails onto it. Today, I’m its biggest fan and user. It lets me easily optimize what messages are sent, when, and quickly make changes without bugging our engineers. I can also visually scan all the messages I send, a big step forward especially for marketers who have emails hard coded into their websites.
As someone who spends a lot of my time using Mixpanel (and previously spent a lot of time using other email services), I’d like to share three tips for other marketers on getting the most out of Notifications:
Schedule emails for times when they are more likely to be relevant to your customers The most relevant time for your customers to hear from you depends on each product, who your customers are, and what message you are sending. By default, Mixpanel will send a message within 30 minutes of a trigger occurring. So make sure to put thought into when messages should be sent. For example, an automated welcome message that appeals to small business owners should likely be sent during during business hours on a weekday.
Make your audience very specific If you want to send an offer to your customers automatically, say, a discount for a new service or upgrade, start by making the audience as small and targeted as possible to ensure it is relevant. Then over time, broaden the target group until conversion rates begin to drop. This will ensure you are reaching only customers who are most likely to be interested in the message.
Use a custom unsubscribe link and don’t click it! Sending messages with the default unsubscribe link can make them look impersonal. Instead, use the following html to set your own text and font for an unsubscribe link <a href=”<<unsub>>”>click here</a>. When testing emails, people often send messages to themselves first as a test. If you do this, make sure not to click unsubscribe or you won’t be able to continue getting test emails, and might think something has broken!
In a year when it’s harder for companies to get funding, get launched and acquire customers, people will turn a hard eye to the bottom line—how can you help your company stand apart?
Measuring and tracking the lifetime value of a customer is the not-so secret weapon which some of the fastest growing tech companies live and die by. The reason is simple: once you know the lifetime value of a customer, you know how much you can spend to acquire more of them while remaining profitable.
Companies can now use Mixpanel to analyze their revenue data just like they do their product usage data. They look at their customers in aggregate and quickly gain insight into the value of specific subsets of their customers based on data they already track, such as age, gender, geography or account creation date.
Most companies have a manual process in place that only lets them do the most basic lifetime value calculations. To do deeper segmentation or measure their strongest acquisition channels, they have to go to their engineering team, do a custom SQL query of their database, and wait for an answer.
Mixpanel is designed to encourage exploration of data. We already give our customers the ability to measure how their customers use their apps and to communicate with them in a more relevant, measurable way. Now, with Revenue Analytics, they can easily use Mixpanel to instantly assess the performance of their business based on the ultimate key metric–revenue–and instantly measure who their most valuable customers are.
The insights they uncover are instantly actionable. When a company knows who their most valuable customers are, they know who to focus on and when tied with product usage data they’ll know where to focus their development cycles to keep their most valuable customers. They can learn that customer who use a specific feature of their product generate twice as much revenue as customers who don’t. They will be able to see if 18-24 year old men in San Francisco or 18-24 year old women in New York spend more money in their app. They will be able to measure which acquisition channel delivers the most valuable customers. They will be able to measure if their customers spend more or less money over time.
2013 is off to a great start for Mixpanel with three great new people joining our team already this year. To get to know each other a better and celebrate we held the first ever Mixpanel team bowling challenge at the Yerba Buena Bowling Center this week.
Bragging rights were the only prize, so congratulations to the winning team of Tim, Neil, Aliisa and Woody! Now the Internet knows you won and the Internet never forgets.
**Re-posting of a byline that originally ran on Sufficiently Advanced, the personal blog of Mixpanel’s co-founder and CEO Suhail Doshi.**
I think we’re starting to miss the point of bullshit metrics.
Liz Gannes, from AllThingsD, recently called bullshit on LinkedIn reaching a new milestone: 200M registered users total. She made a great point: “The reality is, people can sign up for your site and never return, or become frustrated and quit, or just stop caring at some point.”
Josh Elman, from Greylock Partners, recently wrote a post defending LinkedIn’s metric claiming that “for LinkedIn, I believe that what matters for the size of their business is exactly the number of registered users.” He also claimed that “the only thing that matters is how many people are available to be contacted and are likely enough to respond.” My first instinct was to pull LinkedIn’s quarterly earnings reports because I knew they likely segmented their revenue into at least 3 different categories that were all significant. Next, I was going to show how the number of registered users didn’t logically correlate to many of its largest revenue lines. In the end, I felt that just wasn’t the point of bullshit metrics.
Sarah Lacy, from PandoDaily, also wrote a post talking about how shewasn’t buying the idea of one key metric. After all, how could a company run their entire business off a single metric! That seems dangerous! She did at least admit that “page views are clearly a bad single barometer for any news organization that wants to prioritize quality.”
After reading about people’s varying opinions, my epiphany was that we’re all on the same side! We all want the same thing for the world: to start reporting and measuring metrics that matter and make a real difference to businesses. We want companies to talk about metrics that are harsher than the overused total number of registered users.
I feel like we’re missing the big picture by debating the smallest details of whether a metric correlates heavily or not. The problem with that is that every metric is contentious and debatable in some fashion. You cannot always control for weather, seasonality, time, and historic events. There’s always a reason something isn’t necessarily what it appears to represent. And it’s reasonable to debate that, when it’s important, but the point of talking about bullshit metrics is to end the use of poor metrics like pageviews, the number of downloads, and the number of registered users ever. It’s to get companies to focus on data that likely represents a conclusion they can make about their business. And it’s to have the world represent themselves in a way that doesn’t perpetuate a constant cycle of distorting reality. Measuring a customer’s engagement and retention are just the beginning of a mainstream solution to this problem.
LinkedIn has an incredible dataset (that I hear they can use to predict macro-economic trends) and super smart data analysts. Presumably, they can tout something far more substantial and representative of LinkedIn’s actual growth than the total number of users that have ever signed up.
We believe in being data driven, the importance of new metrics for the new world and the power of the OKM. But we also enjoy spending time with data to see what new insights we can uncover. This week we decided to take a quick look at what devices consumers spent time on and where on December 25, 2012–a singular day that finds most people spending time with family, friends and the Internet.
Each month Mixpanel analyzes more than 6.5 billion actions. This quick analysis is based on actions analyzed by Mixpanel on December 25, 2012 and December 18, 2012. In Mixpanel, an action is defined by our customers and can be anything from logging in to an app to making a purchase or finishing a level in a game. Our more than 600 customers are businesses that use Mixpanel to understand how their combined 50 million customers use their mobile app, mobile site or desktop site.
Celebrating Christmas Online
On December 25, 2012 Mixpanel analyzed 695 million actions, a 5% increase over the previous Tuesday (December 18, 2012). On Christmas day consumer activity was almost evenly split between mobile and desktop devices, with mobile devices taking the slight edge with 51% of actions. What this does not show is the spike in mobile activity on Christmas day. It becomes more apparent when we compare December 25 to the previous Tuesday, December 18, 2012 when mobile devices accounted for only 40% of actions.
Focusing in on mobile, it’s clear apps won the day. On December 25 the vast majority of mobile activity Mixpanel measured–fully 98%–took place inside Android or iOS apps. iOS apps saw slightly more activity from consumers on Christmas day, with 54% of actions coming from iPhone apps compared to 44% from Android apps.
Nation of Internet Addicts
We also took a closer look at where this consumer activity was coming from in the United States on Christmas day. Despite the holiday, consumers across the country still fired up their computers with the most activity coming from the three most populous states: California, New York and Texas. Desktop activity was fairly concentrated with only eight states having more than three million actions on December 25.
Not surprisingly the three states with the biggest population–California, Texas and New York–were also the three states with the most mobile activity on December 25, 2012. But it was interesting to see how mobile actions were more geographically diverse than desktop with 12 states having more than three million actions taken by consumers on December 25, 2012. All 12 of these states also had a greater percentage of their mobile actions come from iOS than from Android devices.
The three states with the lowest levels of mobile activity on Christmas were the three states with the lowest population–North Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming.
Top Internet Cities on Christmas Day
The cities with the highest numbers of Internet actions were also the high population centers. The top US cities with the most desktop Internet activity on December 25 were:
New York City
The top US cities with the most mobile Internet activity on December 25 were:
New York City
Note that these insights provide only a snapshot of consumer activity on Christmas day and are based solely on actions analyzed by Mixpanel. Starting in 2013 we intend on sharing more data driven insights with a focus on more actionable metrics like retention and engagement.