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Facebook upgrades analytics tools for app developers

The latest Facebook app upgrades are designed to help developers better measure the performance and retention of their apps among their users.

retention chart

Facebook has packed in a new set of gizmos into its analytics toolbox, App Insights.

Developers will now be able to organize and pinpoint demographics within their user bases to track trends such as revenue or time spent in the app.

From there, app developers will also be able to A/B test various tactics, either to try out new ideas or respond to the data received from the predetermined metrics.

Facebook platform engineer Ravi Grover wrote in a blog post on Tuesday that these upgrades are designed to help developers better measure the performance and retention of their apps among the people who use them.

With label cohorts you can test different tactics with two different groups and then measure which performs best. For example, you can provide 10 percent of people with a free item within your app, and then measure whether that group spends more than people who didn't get the free item. This is just one of the many strategies this new insight can unlock - it gives you the flexibility to define your own cohorts, which makes App Insights more powerful in building your apps and measuring growth.

Facebook is also introducing App Event retention charts, designed to reflect actions people take during any number of days after installing the app — or at least up to 14 weeks after the install date.

Grover explained this data can help developers determine to make changes to the app, run ads, etc. based on more knowledge about engagement.

The new tools are now available for both apps on Facebook and native mobile apps.

The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company has already been busy this week rolling out new products and initiatives aimed toward developers and engineers.

Amid its @Scale summit in San Francisco on Monday , the world's largest social network emphasized its open source interests once again with the debut of "mcrouter," a memcached protocol being unleashed under an open source BSD license.

Targeting engineers who build or maintain systems designed for scale, Facebook asserted the code will "help many sites scale more easily by leveraging Facebook’s knowledge about large-scale systems in an easy-to-understand and easy-to-deploy package."

Facebook itself uses mcrouter for managing all traffic to, from, and between thousands of cache servers across dozens of clusters distributed in Facebook datacenters around the world.

Facebook also announced the launch of Talk Openly, Develop Openly (TODO), a new tech community and initiative formed for the purpose of sharing and addressing challenges encountered in consuming and running open source software. Companies already signed on include Box, Dropbox, Facebook, Google, GitHub, Khan Academy, Square, Stripe, Twitter and Walmart Labs.

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