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Custom Segments: Foreground and Background Users

If you use background downloads in your Pugpig Publish app you may want to run reports that differentiate between session activity happening when the app is woken up in the background to download content and activity logged by 'real user sessions'. 

Due to the way Google Analytics defines sessions, session data will track against users (unique devices) that are receiving background downloads and being woken up to download content regardless of whether the user actually opens the app to read that content later. For example:

  • A nightly background push is sent out and devices with background notifications enabled wake up and start to download content without any user interaction *This counts as session 1 for that user (unique device)*
  • A user then goes into the app later that day and starts reading the content *This counts as session 2 for that user (unique device)*

This means that even if a user doesn't return to that device to read the content that was downloaded overnight in the background, as far as Google Analytics is concerned, they are an active user who has had one session of activity tracked against them that day.

This can lead to inflated session and active user numbers in your reports so this article suggests a couple of Segments you can apply to your reports to avoid this. 

 

Steps

  • Click on +Add Segment then select +NEW SEGMENT

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Then create the following two segments:

Background Sessions

  • Name your segment something like 'Background sessions only' and then under Advanced > Conditions add the condition Screen Views per session = 0.

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  • Or click here to import this segment directly to your Property  

Foreground Sessions 

  • Name your segment something like 'Foreground sessions only' and then under Advanced > Conditions add the condition Screen Views per session > 0.

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  • Or click here to import this segment directly to your Property  

 

These segments are based on the premise that in a background session no screens will be initiated/viewed because the app is simply downloading content in the background whereas in a user initiated/foreground session you will aways see at least one screen view. 

 

A NOTE ON GOOGLE ANALYTICS DEFINITION OF SESSION

Google Analytics defines a Session as a group of user interactions in your application that take place within a given time frame. Sessions expire after 30 minutes of inactivity in the app or at midnight. More information on their help pages here

 

 

 

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