Shark fin affects using push notifications

Been experimenting with Parse recently as a way of increasing engagement in Johnny Grammar’s Word Challenge.  Johnny Grammar is an app that provides grammar, word and spelling quizzes and includes a leaderboard. Parse provides a number of services including the ability to push pre-programmed and ad-hoc push notifications through an app to mobile devices.

Every other week my colleague is pushing a message out from Parse with leaderboard news from the previous week’s champions.

The results are what I am calling the shark fin affect. We see a very steady user base with like-for-like daily usage; and then when the message is pushed out we see a significant rise in active users over a few days which looks like a shark’s fin when viewing in analytics. The number of screens per session shows a similar (if not quite as marked) result. So not only does the notification draw people into the app it gets them using it more too.

Shark fin affect

Affect of Parse notification on active users

The type of message made a difference too. Previous messages had been more banal and less linked with the content and aim of the app (e.g., merry Christmas messages or promoting another one of our apps). These caused a spike but the difference was not as prolonged over a couple of days.

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