Portrait's mission is straightforward: to track the app’s user behavior, which is anonymized, from the moment the app is downloaded.
Armed with this user data, or portrait of a user data if you will, the app developer can maximize the three to seven days it has after to the app is downloaded to cement itself in the user's daily routine.
And if the app developer fails to make an impression during that brief window of time post the original download, which according to industry statistics it probability won’t be able to do, it has a second chance with customized push notifications.
If it still hasn’t made an impression after eight to nine months then it’s lights out for the app and the app developer. The user will have uninstalled the app.
A Typical Lifecycle
That is the typical lifecycle of an app, according to Ari Rosenstein, senior director of Corporate Marketing at SimilarWeb, citing a study by SimilarWeb.
"Users tend to act the same way when they install an app no matter what the app is about," he told CMSWire. Games are a bit of an exception, but they too follow a general trajectory of three to seven days after the install being the heaviest use period. After three days, more than 77 percent of users lose interest in the app. After three months, app usage has dropped to 9 percent.
The app is then typically uninstalled in month eight or nine.
SimilarWeb hopes to break that cycle, or at least give app developers a fighting chance.
In those early days, where it has its greatest chance of being adopted by the user, SimilarWeb Portrait populates the screen with features most suitable to the user -- similar, to cite a hypothetical example -- to how eBay might immediately show a visitor to its site merchandise he would be most apt to like the most.
It does this via its inferred analytics and advanced algorithms to analyze the apps already installed on the user’s phones. Then it builds up an inferred demographics profile or "portrait" of the user, including age, gender, interests and favorite brands, without retaining any personally identifying information.
This data is assembled within milliseconds of the app install.
Later in the app lifecycle, Portrait sends customized information the user would want through its push notifications during the latter part of this lifecycle, Rosenstein said.
Customized push notifications is where the application really shines, he also said.
An early adopter of SimilarWeb Portrait was Haptik, a personal assistant app that uses humans to complete tasks. It found that SimilarWeb Portrait increased its open rate notifications by 88 percent.