User stickiness for mobile apps – how to engage more users

Developing and maintaining an enthusiastic user community within your app can be challenging. However, by gaining a comprehensive understanding of the concept of user stickiness, how you can assess it, and, most crucially, what are the best ways to enhance it, you can overcome this challenge.

What is user stickiness?

User stickiness is a metric that indicates user engagement and the app’s ability to retain its audience. It measures the frequency with which users revisit an app. In order to calculate it, you must compare the number of active users within a shorter time frame and their engagement within a longer time frame. This way, it’s possible to assess the app’s ability to maintain user interest over time.

Improving user stickiness will not only contribute to the broadly understood popularity of your application but also to your monetization efforts, as you will be able to display more ads to users over the same period of time, thus increase the final ad revenue.


When discussing user stickiness, it’s necessary to mention the following metrics:

Importantly, these metrics are a significant part of the user stickiness formula:

Stickiness ratio = DAU / WAU x 100% or WAU / MAU x 100% or DAU / MAU x 100%

User stickiness Google Analytics

In Google Analytics 4, it’s possible to track the changes in your app’s user stickiness. In order to see the data:

  1. Log into your Google Analytics account;
  2. Go to the “Reports” section;
  3. Choose “Engagement and then Overview”;
  4. At the bottom of the “Engagement overview” page, you will find the “User stickiness” line chart.

In the chart, you will be able to see 3 lines representing the following ratios (all of which are expressed in percentages):

Source: Google Analytics Help Center: [GA4] User stickiness

By tracking the ratios of these three metrics, you can see how user engagement within your app has been changing in approximately the last month. For instance, if the ratio DAU to MAU is 100%, it means that all active users in the last 30 days visited your app also on this particular day you verify. On average, the optimal user stickiness ratio is about 20%.

Churn rate vs. retention rate

The churn and retention rates are metrics that measure different aspects of customer behavior. The churn rate is the percentage of users who stopped using your app over a certain period of time. Whereas the retention rate is the percentage of users that continued to use your mobile app over a certain period of time.

churn rate = lost users / total number of users at the beginning of a given time period x 100

retention rate = (total number of users at the end of the period measured) – (total number of new users during that period) / number of users when the measured period began x 100

Usually, apps with high stickiness ratios have good retention rates and low churn rates. It’s important to note that stickiness and retention are two different things, even though they’re related. Retention rate measures how many users keep using an app over time, while stickiness measures how frequently and intensively users engage with the app.

How to improve user stickiness

With the improvement of user stickiness of your mobile app, the number of ads displayed to the users will also increase, and so will your generated ad revenue. You can improve user stickiness in the following ways:

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Stick to the right solutions

User stickiness is essential. After all, you can’t monetize content that is not received. Yet, to boost your app’s monetization outcomes, it’s essential to focus not only on enhancing the app’s quality and user stickiness but also on optimizing the overall monetization process. By doing so, you can maximize your earnings generated through displaying advertisements within your mobile app. If you need help with ad monetization solutions, contact us – we will gladly provide you with automated ad mediation, premium ad inventory, and more!

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