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What Are In-App Events?

In-app events are “tracked actions” that users perform in an app – such as app opens, levels completed, or purchases made.

App developers track and monitor these actions so that they can be used as a tool to optimize the user experience, increase stickiness within their app, measure performance, or find trends in user behavior.
Key Takeaways
  • In-app events can be used to optimize user experience, LTV, and retention
  • Developers can track events such as in-app-purchases, level completion, or app opens
  • Due to privacy restrictions, there are now some in-app events that cannot be tracked on iOS devices, such as time spent in an app

Which In-App Events Should Developers Track?

Developers gain greater insights into how users are interacting with their app – and how they are best monetized – when they monitor in-app events. Since the introduction of certain privacy regulations (iOS 14+ or SKAN), developers are, however, now unable to track some of these events on iOS devices, such as time spent.

Here are some common in-app events to track in the mobile app landscape: 

In-App Purchases

Developers can track how much revenue an app generates through in-app purchases (IAPs). Monitoring IAPs also helps developers identify patterns in their users’ behavior, such as when they’re more likely to make a purchase or when they would rather turn to rewarded ads to earn coins.  

App Opens

If app developers want to increase their app retention rate, they should measure how often users open an app. App opens are calculated by comparing the total number of app opens to the total number of users acquired in that same cohort.

Time Spent in App (Session Duration)

This metric helps developers understand how users are interacting with an app on a daily or weekly basis. If this metric declines (for example, after introducing more in-app ads), developers know they need to optimize – for example – the in-app experience.

App Registrations

App registrations help developers track how many users sign up for an app and whether they are returning customers or not. From this information, app development teams can calculate important KPIs such as app lifetime value or the cost of acquiring users.

Why Should Developers Track In-App Events?

To monitor in-app events is to monitor how an app’s in-app economy strategy is working and where improvements could be made. As more apps turn to hybrid monetization models, it is important to track not only IAPs but how engaged users are after the introduction of certain ad formats. Here are more reasons why developers should track in-app events: 

  • to measure how often users take a particular action, such as make a purchase or redeem rewards
  • to identify which devices or platforms are used more for certain behavior
  • to understand engagement with different parts of an app – and if there is any friction anywhere in the user experience
  • to understand the lifetime value of a user and gauge which users are most valuable and stick around for the longest; from this, UA teams can segment users and optimize campaigns better based on user behavior
  • to determine how users react to new features and updates within an app
phone screen mockup explaining why developers should track in-app events


App developers and user acquisition managers need to measure in-app events to understand how users interact with their mobile app after installing it.

Based on various in-app events data – such as completion rates, in-app purchases, and app opens – developers can see if over time their UA or monetization strategies are contributing to higher app revenue and a more loyal user base, with higher ROAS.


What Are In-App Events?

In-app events are the actions that users take while using an app. This could include making a purchase, signing up for the app, or playing up until a certain level within a game.

What Are Examples of In-App Events?

Some examples include logging into the app, making a purchase, or completing a level.

Why Is It Important to Track an In-App Event?

By tracking in-app events, developers can learn what current users do within their app and how they interact with it. They then analyze this information to better understand their users and how they behave in certain areas of the app – and optimize accordingly.

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