What is an uninstall?

Glossary What is an uninstall?

The definition of an uninstall

An uninstall refers to a user removing an app from their device. In the world of mobile marketing, it’s one metric for holistically measuring an app’s performance. Uninstalls can take place for a number of reasons. Users may find that apps don’t meet their needs, encounter performance issues or problems with the user journey, or move to competitor apps. Even a cumbersome onboarding process can be enough to persuade a user to uninstall.

What kind of decisions can I make with uninstall data?

With uninstall data, you can analyze your:

By discovering the stages of the funnel at which your users uninstall, you can optimize your app to improve retention and ultimately net a more active user base with a better return on investment (ROI). Like all of the other in-app events you’re measuring, uninstalls are tied back to the current marketing source. This way you can analyze whether your users are uninstalling after making a big purchase or after getting a number of push notifications, for example.

Why (and when) should I track uninstalls?

Attracting users to install your app is only one side of the equation. Marketers must then spend valuable resources and money keeping those same users engaged to maintain strong retention. Understanding when your users uninstall can help you to understand the why. Keeping an eye on uninstalls should be part of your app store optimization (ASO) strategy, as this is one metric that is often said to be a likely algorithmic factor in app store rankings.

It’s crucial to note that uninstall data shouldn’t be your only consideration when analyzing technical and campaign performance, because it’s not a given that it will always be available. In the post-iOS 14.5 era,  iOS users must opt-in to share their Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) via the App Tracking Transparency (ATT) prompt for marketers to be able to track their uninstall. With the upcoming rollout of Google’s Privacy Sandbox on Android, the same will be true for Android uninstalls in at least some cases.

Combined with other performance metrics, uninstalls can help give marketers a full picture of the user lifecycle for comprehensive analysis at your fingertips.

Adjust uninstall measurement

Uninstall measurement works via push tokens. Adjust measures app uninstalls by assigning each user a unique push token when they install your app. This unique token is used to send daily silent push notifications to check if the app is still installed. Once the push notification returns information that the app has been uninstalled, Adjust reports the last active session as the uninstall date. The app uninstall rate is then calculated by dividing the number of uninstalls by the number of installs over a period of time.

A diagram showing how Adjust measures uninstalls

Learn more about Adjust’s uninstall and reinstall measurement or request a demo.

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