This article will help you:
Amplitude's Lifecycle chart gives you a quick, easy-to-understand overview of the growth of your product's user base over time. It does this by breaking out your active users into subgroups: new, current, and resurrected (formerly inactive) users. All your total active users will fall into one of these categories. It will also show you a count of your inactive, dormant users.
Much of the power of a lifecycle analysis depends on an understanding of your product's critical event. What's the one thing your users need to do in order to get value from your product? For a food delivery app, this might be placing an order. For a healthcare app, it might be starting or booking a session. When you know that critical event, you can build a Lifecycle chart around it and see how your user base is interacting with that event over time.
You can also get a bird's-eye view of engagement and retention by building your analysis around any active event. This will keep you aware of more broad-based trends with your product's usage patterns.
The idea is to grow your current and resurrected user counts, either by keeping them engaged or by giving them a reason to become active again. You'll also want to keep an eye on your dormant users: if this category starts growing, you may have an engagement problem on your hands.
Before you begin
First and foremost, events will not appear in any Amplitude charts until instrumentation is complete, so make sure you've got that done. You'll definitely want to read our article on building charts in Amplitude, as this is where you'll learn the basics of Amplitude's user interface. You should also familiarize yourself with our helpful list of Amplitude definitions.
You'll probably get more out of a lifecycle analysis if you fully understand your product's critical event, and its usage frequency. And you may want to check out our blog post on the retention lifecycle framework.
Set up your lifecycle analysis
To build a Lifecycle chart, follow these steps:
- In the Events Module, select the starting event. You can choose a specific event that is instrumented in Amplitude, or you can tell Amplitude to consider any event as the starting event for this analysis, by selecting Any Event from the list of available events.
NOTE: You can only include one event in a lifecycle analysis.
- If desired, add properties to your starting event by clicking on + where, selecting the property name, and specifying the property value you’re interested in.
- In the Segmentation Module, identify the user segment you want to include in this analysis. You can import a previously-saved segment by clicking Saved Segments and selecting the one you want from the list. Otherwise, Amplitude begins from the assumption that your analysis will target all users.
NOTE: You can only include one user segment in a lifecycle analysis.
- If you do not want to import a previously-saved user segment, you can start building your own by adding properties. To do so, click + where, choose the property you want to include, and specify the property value you’re interested in.
- You can narrow your focus even further by telling Amplitude you only want to include users who have already performed certain actions. To do so, click + perform, then choose the event you’re interested in.
- In the Metrics Module, set your usage interval. If a user fires your selected event within the usage interval, Amplitude will consider them current; otherwise, for the purposes of this analysis, they are considered dormant. Your chart will display the results in the interval you've selected.
Interpret your Lifecycle chart
The Lifecycle chart's default display is a histogram with two buckets for each of your usage intervals. The green and blue bucket contains active users, while the red bucket contains dormant users.
This is your Growth chart. It shows the distribution of active users and the count of dormant users for a particular day, week, or month. This allows you to see which group of users affects your active user counts the most.
Earlier, we mentioned that all your active users would fall into one of three groups: new, current, or resurrected. Let's define those terms:
- A new user is one who has logged the event you specified in Step One above for the first time. Amplitude will count that user as new for one full interval after the first event is received.
- A current user is one who was active in the previous usage interval (day, week, or month). For example, a user who was active on January 1st and January 2nd would be considered a current user on January 2nd for a daily lifecycle chart.
- A resurrected user is an active user who was not active for the previous interval (day, week, or month), or longer. For example, a user who was not active on January 1st, but fired the specified event on January 2nd would be considered a resurrected user on January 2nd for a daily lifecycle chart.
Each of these groups is represented in the green and blue bar of the histogram.
We also have dormant users, represented by the red bar. A dormant user is one who did not log the event you've specified, but who was active during the previous time period (day, week, or month). For example, a user who was active on January 1st but not active on January 2nd would be considered a dormant user on January 2nd.
There are also two other views for your Lifecycle chart: Dormant, and Pulse.
The Dormant chart shows the distribution of dormant users for a particular day, week, or month. For example, a dormant new user on August 10th (shown in the bar between August 9th and August 10th) is a user who was new on August 9th but became dormant on August 10th.
The Pulse chart shows the ratio of incoming (new and resurrected) users to outgoing (dormant) users for a particular day, week, or month. The ratio shows how many active users you gain for each user who goes dormant.
Specifically, Pulse uses the following formula:
(# of new users + # of resurrected users) / (# of dormant users)
- Pulse > 1 means you're gaining users faster than you're losing them—your product is experiencing growth.
- Pulse < 1 means you're losing more users than you're gaining—and your product isn't growing.
For example, in the chart below, pulse was 0.95 between December 5th and December 11th. This means we lost more users in that interval than we gained or resurrected.
Below the chart is a table of lifecycle data. You can export the data table as a .CSV file by clicking Export CSV.