Yandex Blog

The New Mobile Analytics and Tracking: Real Time, All in One, Free for All

Yandex is rolling out a revamped version of its mobile app analytics platform – now under the name “AppMetrica”. The new platform features a powerful mobile ad tracking solution in addition to the pre-existing features – user analytics and crash reports. Now AppMetrica covers all key domains for marketers, publishers and developers – and they can access it completely for free and without any limits, in real-time mode and with a single SDK.

We released our analytics tool for the first time almost two years ago as Yandex.Metrica for Apps. It was our response to the lack of good user analytics solutions on market – we had to create our own to learn how mobile apps published by Yandex were performing. Then we thought it may be of interest to other people around the world, and opened it up for everyone – for free.

600pxAge (1).png

Since 2013 we’ve been getting requests from marketers and developers who love the way we do it – currently AppMetrica processes nearly one billion in-app events every day for apps connected to the service. However, users need more, and we got clear signals from our in-house mobile marketers who track Yandex’s app user acquisitions. The main problem is that they had to spend up to 15% of their budgets on mobile ad measurement tools alone, which is quite a lot even for us ☺. Another issue is that product analysts and managers couldn’t easily use detailed traffic source segmentation in analytics tools as the two are separated and usually developed by different providers. In the end, different tools require the integration of multiple SDKs, so project teams need to spend more time on development and testing. We spent almost two years solving these issues to turn AppMetrica into a fully-fledged, integrated, professional mobile analytics and tracking platform.


The new AppMetrica provides detailed ad campaign reporting. Users can drill down to analyse how well different creatives and ad placements are performing, see tracking link parameters breakdowns, and get user engagement reports by applying cohort analysis with retention and event conversion rates which gives a really insightful analysis of traffic quality. AppMetrica is integrated with the most popular mobile ad networks out of the box, including AdColony, InMobi, Millennial Media, Vungle, and many others. We keep expanding the list of ad networks, and users can also manually integrate traffic sources they need and set up postbacks in a few easy steps.

600pxOrig_Cohort (1).png

The new platform aids re-engagement improvements using state-of-the-art deep linking technology. Hardcore marketers have the opportunity to pull raw data from AppMetrica via its API so they can create in-house custom reports or use it in their proprietary software. They soon will get even more options to improve conversion: we are now working on integration with data export from AppMetrica to popular re-targeting and look-alike platforms.

AppMetrica works with Android, iOS and Windows Phone apps. Game developers will also enjoy our Unity plugin. AppMetrica is available for free and starts to provide reports in just a few minutes after rolling up an app with the integrated SDK. 

Yandex.Disk Gives Users More Control Over Their Content on Social Networks

Your content is yours and only yours. It doesn’t stop belonging to you even after you share it online. That’s what we believe in, at least. Yandex.Disk, our cloud storage service, now has a functionality which allows the service users to syphon all photos posted on their Facebook, and some other social network accounts into folders on their Yandex.Disk – just in a couple of clicks.


Using Yandex.Disk’s new photo import feature, they can save on their cloud storage service not only the photos they shared themselves, but also those images in which they were tagged by someone else. The users of the cloud service can also share their photos stored on Yandex.Disk simultaneously to their Facebook, or other accounts – one image or whole album at a time. The service’s built-in photo-editing tool can be used to enhance the quality of pictures or add filters, text or graphics before publishing.

Yandex.Disk’s new functionality, currently available only on desktop, gives users more control over their photos on the internet and also simplifies their management. This opportunity might interest businesses, such as stock photo agencies or image banks, or web-based photo printing companies, who will be able to increase their customer base by simplifying their processes and thus attracting new non-professional contributors. Yandex.Disk’s integration with social networks is just one step on the way toward deep integration with image-based services via API.

Since its launch in April 2012, Yandex.Disk has been evolving to meet the needs of the majority of its users. Having started as a cloud service offering 20GB of free storage space to everyone, Yandex.Disk responded to popular demand later on and expanded its range by providing an opportunity to buy more space, at flexible rates, to those who needed it. The cloud service’s technology was also used to help mobile users transfer their content from their old Symbian, Java or WindowsMobile phone to a new iOS- or Android-based device.

Yandex.Disk is available in English, Turkish, Russian and Ukrainian as a web service, as well as a desktop app for Windows, OS X and Linux platforms, and a mobile app for iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices.

With over five million international user accounts on top of 19 million users registered in Russia, Yandex.Disk enjoys catering for the needs of the global audience and appreciates the trust of its users wherever they are.

Yandex.Metrica Knows Who Used Your App on Android via 3G in London One Hour Ago

– and will tell you all about it just in a couple of clicks

Other than being one of the most popular search engines on the planet, we also make mobile apps. Just like everyone else. As of today, there are 25 apps published by Yandex, from maps and photos to cloud storage and navigation, enjoyed by millions users on their iPhones, iPads, Windows Phones, Android phones and other devices all over the world. Our users have always been our first priority; naturally, to meet all their expectations and maybe do more, we want to know who they are – where they come from, what device and operating system they use, which language they prefer for their interface, what type of connection they have and which provider they use, what they do in the app and how long it takes.

Like any other mobile developer, we tried and tested all sorts of mobile analytics solutions, free and paid. Some of them allowed us to view how many users we had per day or how many of our users were from London. Others went a step further and told us how many users from London we had per day. At a push, we could also see how many users from London per day we had on Android devices.

Only a few of the mobile analytics solutions that we tried could provide us with information in real time. All of them required quite a lot of time and effort to create data reports, which would combine a large number of parameters. We wanted to know more, we wanted it fast and we wanted it to be easy. So, we made an app usage analytics tool of our own - Yandex.Metrica for Apps.

Our good, old and trusted web analytics tool Yandex.Metrica has been measuring site traffic, visitor behavior and ad efficiency for Yandex since 2008. From 2009, the year when Yandex.Metrica became publicly available, millions of websites, online services and advertising clients have been using this tool free of charge. So, we tweaked the analytics tool we loved to use for websites to use it for our apps. And now, our Yandex.Metrica for Apps becomes available to all mobile developers anywhere in the world to use for free.

Yandex.Metrica for Apps is a combination of all the lovely qualities that any mobile app developer will love:

Yandex.Metrica for Apps has a no-nonsense, easy-to-use user interface. It takes only a few clicks to create personalised, high-precision, comprehensive profiles of your app’s audience.

Easy-to-read, custom-made reports 
Using Yandex.Metrica for Apps, you can create app usage reports according to your specifications, which can include any combination of the following parameters: users’ country, app’s version, operating system and its version, device type (tablet or smartphone), model and manufacturer, screen resolution, user interface language, mobile provider, connection type, user actions and time of user sessions.

Real-time information 
Yandex.Metrica for Apps shows you the app’s usage data that is only a few minutes or even seconds old. You can also see what happened in your app hours, days, weeks or months ago.

Crash reports
Yandex.Metrica for Apps offers you detailed, customised reports on your app’s crashes. If there are any.

Popular mobile platforms
Yandex.Metrica for Apps is designed to work on any of the popular platforms. It will seamlessly build into your Android, iOS or Windows Phone app.

Any mobile developer can now see almost in real time a day-by-day breakdown for one week of the number of new users, say, in London and San Francisco who made an in-app purchase using the 1.01 version of the app on Samsung Galaxy S4:

Or, the number of new users of the app’s 1.10 version in the U.S. who spent 30 to 60 seconds interacting with the app, by device:

Or, all the crashes your app had in one week, by device type:

Or, the number of crashes the new users of the app’s version 1.02 on tablets in Germany had in one week:

To start generating personalised reports on your app’s usage, register at, receive the API key and integrate SDK Yandex.Metrica for Apps into your app. Your reports will be available for viewing in your account at within just one minute after integration.

The next version of Yandex.Metrica for Apps, on which we are working hard right now, will include marketing tools, which will complement the existing statistical tools. The new options will give developers an opportunity to see their traffic sources and funnels and use advanced event settings. We cannot wait.
Let us know what you think of our new mobile analytics solution Yandex.Metrica for Apps.

And those of you in London on October 22 or 23 can come and see Yandex.Metrica for Apps in action at our stand 437 at the developer conference and exhibition Apps World in Earls Court. Alex Kochubey, our very own Yandex.Store developer, who spends more time segmenting his user audience than enjoying any other of life’s pleasures, will show and tell all about it.

Well, search has been personalised already. How about the rest of the internet?

At Yandex we’ve long been striving to tailor search results especially for every individual user – and we can already do it pretty well.

Our Personalised Search fetches results and delivers search suggestions individually for each user based on the many things we know about them – including their geographical location, language preferences, search history and clicks in search results. The user's search history tells the search engine what may be currently relevant for this particular user, and whether he or she would appreciate getting search results in English, for instance. Our MatrixNet machine-learning algorithms allow our search engine to look at users as live, multi-faceted human beings: gender, age, sphere of activity and domestic status are just some of the qualities it knows how to consider when delivering personalised search results and suggestions.

Well, naturally we couldn’t stop there, and we started thinking about how to take this great idea one step further. Once we’d developed personalised search, another idea arose: if we can personalise search results, why not personalise the whole internet? Introducing …. (drum roll, please) …. Atom!

Atom is one of Yandex’s new technology concepts. It allows any web resource to be adapted (or personalised) for nearly any person, even if they have not visited that web resource before but have a search history at Yandex.

For example, a site selling package tours is more likely to satisfy a user (and make a sale) if its main page only shows those tours that are likely to be of most interest to that user, based on his or her past behavior online. If a site can work out how to reconfigure its front page or catalogue according to the interests of any given person – and deliver what’s needed right at the start -- then it follows that the person will return to the site again and again.

How does it all work? We “talk” to a site through an API, telling the site what to show, in what order, in what priority, for each individual. We’d like to emphasise that we don’t give third-party sites any private information about the user – none of their cookies, nor their search history. We process all that information ourselves.

At present Atom exists on the level of a concept that we will be developing over the next few years together with the internet community. It’s an ambitious plan, which will work only if it gets the support of everybody – users, web site owners, web masters. 

And who wins? First of all – users, who will get only relevant and useful information on their PC or tablet or smartphone screen. Imagine a newswire website where all new items are interesting for everybody. Nothing to be left unread. Or an e-commerce service delivering not only recommendations based on their own statistics, but considering much more extensive behaviour of a user in the internet. A personal internet – for each, their own – is coming. That would be the huge shift in upcoming years or even decades. Stay tuned!

Yandex.Locator: It’s not about the whereabouts

As location-based products and applications are becoming a staple of people’s everyday activities, the expectation to have a favourite map or search app constantly on hand regardless of the strength or availability of a GPS signal has also become a given. Everyone wants to have access to relevant and useful information at any point in time even if their mobile device cannot receive satellite signal

To make sure the users of our location-based services and apps can have the information they need when and where they need it, we have created Yandex.Locator, our own GPS-independent method for pinpointing users’ locations. Instead of relying on GPS to provide location-based information on mobile devices, it uses Wi-Fi points and cellular networks.

Implemented in our turn-by-turn navigation app Yandex.Navigator, this technology removes the need to enter the starting point of a journey and allows building a driving route even in an enclosed parking lot where satellite signal is weak or unavailable. The Yandex.Locator technology is also helpful when choosing a film on the Yandex.Afisha movie guide or a product on the Yandex.Market comparison shopping system. The technology’s location-sniffing prowess allows to show the user films running in cinemas or products available in shops in their immediate neighbourhood on top of other search results. Yandex.Locator can also help to find the nearest ATMs and cafes – even when you’re on the metro tens of metres below the ground surface.

The precision of a user’s location determined by pinpointing the nearest GSM towers, Wi-Fi networks and even IP addresses is inferior to GPS, but in combination these methods give acceptable results.

A network database for a GPS-independent location service can either be purchased from a specialist company or created from scratch by logging networks in specific areas and then continually updating this information (costly and time-consuming).

Alternatively, such database can be built using the data generated by users of a popular mobile platform, such as iOS or Andriod, (luxury available to few).

However, there is another, probably the best and the most cost-effective way – utilise the data collected as a by-product from users of a popular mobile app. And this is exactly what we have done.

Network database

By the time the idea of Yandex.Locator started taking shape, hundreds of thousands of people on the streets with the Yandex.Maps app on their mobile phones were already sending us their GPS coordinates to help us build the picture of current traffic conditions – a traffic layer on Yandex.Maps. We figured that together with this information, the app could also send us the information about which GSM station is serving a phone at particular coordinates, and which Wi-Fi networks are in its range (without actually connecting to them, of course).

Taking part in such crowdsourcing requires no special effort on a user’s part – all they need to do is simply use the app the way they have always had. As with location coordinates, data about nearby Wi-Fi networks and GSM stations are anonymised. The volume of the network data is not large, so the phone’s battery life doesn’t suffer.

The Yandex.Maps mobile users help us and help each other. Those with GPS receivers on their phones register their exact location and transmit this information to Yandex. Others, who don’t have GPS modules, transmit a list of Wi-Fi networks that they are picking up at a given moment, and in response they receive their approximate location on a map.


Migrating networks

Practice shows that GSM station identifiers can migrate (while the stations themselves remain physically stationary, of course), and Wi-Fi routers also have a tendency to move about together with their owners. Overcoming the problems created by all this movement took no small amount of ingenuity.

When a user sends us a request for location information, we also receive the data about which GSM stations or Wi-Fi points their device registers. If the list of networks includes one that was previously recorded as being in a different part of the city, Yandex.Locator calculates how many signals have been picked up from this network in each place and how recently. Every dense concentration of such signals is called a “cloud”. Clouds with a greater number of fresh signals are naturally the ones whose information we trust most. 

Improving precision 

… by GSM networks

In the past, location services only received information about one base station, although mobile devices usually see several. That changed with the arrival of Android, which has enabled the apps to see all base stations in range (except when the device is on 3G, which only allows one base station to be recognised). This means locations can now be determined with more precision – not just by one cloud, but by the combined power of several. And, as it turns out, the approach used with one cloud also works for a whole bunch of them. The radius is calculated by the standard deviation of the combined cloud signals, and the centre is taken as the arithmetic average of their coordinates. 

... by Wi-Fi networks

When a smartphone is in range of several Wi-Fi networks, it can relay not just a list of networks but also the strength of each one’s signal. We use this signal strength as one of the tools for pinpointing the centre of the zone where the user is located. We started attaching metaphorical “springs” to the centre of each observed cloud – the tighter the spring, the stronger the signal ­– then joined the free ends. The point where the springs equilibrate is the corrected centre of the cloud.

As Wi-Fi networks continue to expand, and the amount of data produced by the growing number of the users of our location-based apps continues to increase, so does the precision with which locations are determined.

However, the location precision is not unlimited. If a telephone detects just one GSM tower, the minimal radius for the user’s location is several hundred metres in a city, or several kilometres outside the city. If a telephone detects several cell towers, the centre point of their location can be determined with more precision, but the radius is unlikely to be reduced. And, even if a user’s location is confidently determined by a Wi-Fi network signal, the minimal radius is currently 10 metres.

Yandex.Locator has been implemented in Yandex.Maps, Yandex.Market, Yandex.Afisha and Yandex.Navigator available to users in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan, with Yandex.Maps and Yandex.Afisha also offered to mobile users in Turkey. The Yandex.Locator also helps to offer location-based search suggestions, weather forecasts and traffic reports in Yandex.Browser

The technology is also available for public use via a free API (in Russian).