There is a drop of 15% in open rate of Instagram App. You are the PM. Tell us what could have happened?
0 votes
in Problem Solving by (12 points) | 405 views

5 Answers

+2 votes

There is a drop of 15% in open rate of Instagram App. You are the PM. Tell us what could have happened?


Drop in open rate 

  • users not even opening once in a day - increase in inactive users
  • users not opening multiple times in a day - reduction in repeat opens

Assumption - This is happening across platform, geography, gender. Also, this is happening gradually over a period of time (decrease on monthly/weekly basis).


Factors impacting this behavior (metrics to check to see the impact)

  • Internal 
    • crashes - any app update which lead to crashes 
      • Metrics to track - Crash Rate, ANR, average load time  
    • change in behaviour of users
      • impact of sub metrics (open rate has impact on sub metrics - activities users do post opening the app)
    • complaints - from customer support, play store reviews
      • Play store rating, reviews (1,2,3), sentiment analysis
      • # of complaint tickets
  • External 
    • promotions - ran ads which lead to an inorganic boost in open rate (and then sudden drop)
      • last open date, # of times opened in a day where install source was promotion
    • competitor shift

Assumption - Let's assume this drop is due to change in behaviour of user. Let's deep dive here.


To understand the change let's understand how users use the app and what changed. 


Core activities

  • Feed interaction 
    • checking feed
    • DM - chat w/ friends
    • check friends - profile / photos
    • checking friends of friends - profile & follow them
  • posting a photo / video
    • upload / take a photo
    • apply filters
    • adding meta (text, hashtag, location)
  • search & my profile

Assumption - Majority of the users are consumers (99%) while only 1% are posters. majority of the time spent by user is on feed interaction activity. rest of the activities are smaller; so there is a change in behaviour on 'feed interaction'.


Metrics to check

  • # post scrolled
  • Time spent on feed
  • like a post
  • comments on post
  • stories
  • DM - chat
  • # of user's page opened in a session
  • # of follows / user in a day


Possible cases for less open rate

  • Case 1 - takes time to load new post (could be due to bad network)
  • Case 2- post's that are appearing in feed are no more interesting / exciting less leading to lesser open - daily or repeat opens in a day.


Moving forward w/ case 2 - which seems to be a possible reason


Dig dive on feed composition

  • My friend's post
  • Influencer's post (celebrities i follow) / stories

Assumption - Influencers are the one who drive the open rate a lot as they post more often to have a pull effect. Assuming there is a problem there.

  • Influencer has started posting less engaging content / spam
    • Metrics to check
      • Trend - # of likes, comments on influencer | Time spent on post 
      • # of Report spam
      • Sentiment analysis - # of abusive comments (as dislikes)
  • Influencer hasn't been active (posting less content)
    •  Metrics to check
      • # of post per day for top influencers (top 1000) 


  • Changes in sorting algo
    • boost post which get more engagement (check growth rate of likes which is increasing as a trend; user you follow and promote it up)
    • demote inactive, less engaging content
  • suggest other influencers to follow
    • Help user generate other interests so that user can follow something else
See less
by (79 points)
0 votes

Seek clarity 15% drop over what time frame - is it gradual or drastic? if drastic then figure out the dates when (we'll come back to this later), assuming it's drastic15% is a drastic drop for a short per…See more

by (165 points)
0 votes

There is a drop of 15% in open rate of Instagram App. You are the PM. Tell us what could have happened? Drop in open rate users not even opening once in a day - increase in inactive usersusers n…See more

by (79 points)
0 votes

Initial Questions Explored: 

  1. What is open rate? Is it (# of app opens) / (total # of app installs) in a given time frame?
  2. What was the initial open rate? (60%??)
  3. Any major changes made in the application?
  4. What is the timeframe we're looking at?
  5. Is it across all persona's?
  6. Is this happening across the globe or particular geography?
  7. Any external factors?
    1. Direct Competitors gaining traction
    2. Indirect Competitors gaining traction
    3. Opposing apps - (Time Saving Apps)


Let's assume that the drop of 15% is in the span of 6 months.  Let's write the equation:

# of app opens 6 months ago / # of app installs 6 months ago) - (# of app opens now / # of app installs now) = 0.15

Let's assume that the drop is across all identified persona's. (Explore, otherwise)

Let's also assume that the drop is global and not confined geographically (Explore otherwise)

Explore various competitors and the introduction of new entrants. Are there any time-saving apps, digital well-being apps that are gaining traction? 


Hypothesis 1:

Check for the # of app downloads and its monthly trend in the last 6 months? Any changes? - Let's assume NO. There has been a relatively steady growth in customers.

Hypothesis 2: 

Check the (Avg # of opens / user) and plot a monthly trend over the last 6 months? Any changes? - Yes. 

This means that the problem is not the number of people uninstalling apps, there is a genuine reduction of app openings.

Mind share: The portion of a user's brain dedicated to thinking about Instagram - Let's call this the trigger. 

Since there is a drop => That means that % of trigger for users to click Instagram is lowered. 

Why has there been a lowered mind share amongst customers?

Because, lately, because of awareness of digital well being created by various health associations and articles across the globe, people have started to use digital well-being apps to curb social media usage.


  1. Provide valuable content on Instagram to drive user's engagement and provide a sense of well being.
  2. Show a health timer notification adhering to prescribed standards. (This shows Instagram cared about our digital well being.)
  3. Create a campaign to communicate that Instagram cares about customers and show the positive aspects of being on Insta and promote the above-mentioned features.
See less
by (14 points)
0 votes
I would start by clarifying some doubts.

How is the open rate measured? In what period of time? I'm trying to know here what's the specific metric that dropped. It can be unique users open in a day / total users with activity within 30 days, it could be total open rate per user per month, etc.

I will assume the answer is amount of users who open Instagram more than 1 time on a given day. So the number of users opening the app more than one time a day has dropped by 15%.

Once I know about the metric, I would go deeper about the group that is displaying this change in behavior:

- Is it the mobile or web app?  If mobile, is it android or iOS, or both? is it specific to a certain version?

I will assume they say it's across all patforms and not specific to a version.

- Is this drop seen across all segments or is only seen in specific groups?

I will assume here that they say it's only in the segment of users who have been in the app for at least 6 months.


The hypothesis of why this group might see a drop in open rate, in order of importance:

1) They don't find it amusing anymore. They open the app early in the morning to see the news, but when they access again they see they have caught up with news and therefore don't see it as often as they would.

2) They want to spend less time using the app. They find themselved spending too much time in Instagram, and they want to limit its usage.

3) They have few interactions and feel demotivated to post stories or pictures in their profile. This people is found to have less than 50 friends.


And proposing some ideas to help engage this group of users:

1)  Offer them suggestions on things to post (already applying filters and tags which create more engagement).

2) Increase the likelihood of this group's posts/stories to be seen and specifically for this group.

3) Push it more often/ more enticingly to connect to new people and widen their network (same as presenting this contact to other contacts who would add them as friends).

4) Re-evaluate the "caught up" feature. Make an effort to always have content available for the user, like reviving a post from a friend of "a year before" the date in a  'Remembering' section, or even including information about other less relevant friends in the news feed.

5) Make them feel good about using the app. Create a series of videos targetted towards this population about how instagram bolsters interactions and friendship, and always being up to date when it comes to friends. Create a "year" video about all the things that happened in the app - much like Facebook memories.
See less
by (21 points)
Your name to display (optional):
Privacy: Your email address will only be used for sending these notifications.
To avoid this verification in future, please log in or register.
Your name to display (optional):
Privacy: Your email address will only be used for sending these notifications.
To avoid this verification in future, please log in or register.