Customer Story: How Stepz saw a 10% increase in session frequency

We live for our clients’ successes. There is no better feeling than when we can help them to achieve their goals and help them to improve retention and engagement.

Stepz, created by Michael Szumielewski, is a perfect example of an app which excels at both. Stepz is a convenient pedometer and step counter app for iOS. Launched in April of 2014, Stepz has 2.2 million downloads, a 4.5 stars based on 5,000+ worldwide reviews, and is helping millions of people stay healthy and shatter their walking goals. Starting in January 2015, Stepz took off in several countries around the world, captured the #1 spot in the Fitness & Health category in Germany last year, and remains in a top position today.

An indie app maker for the last three years, Michael was focused on retention from day one. He built daily goals and achievement badges into his app to increase motivation. For example, if a user hits the 277 mile mark, they receive an achievement badge that informs them that they walked the distance of the Grand Canyon.

The Features

Adding a social component was important Stepz' growth, and ultimately that is what lead Michael to Tapglue. Before Tapglue, not a lot of people were sharing their achievements externally on social media, but if they did, the results were great. For example, David Rothschild, who has more than 1M Twitter followers, sharing his Tokyo Achievement Badge. Michael started to focus on how to harness the power of social networks within Stepz and eventually came across Tapglue.

Last December, Stepz worked with Tapglue to roll out the following features:

  1. Individual User Profiles - which can connect to Facebook
  2. Stepz Friends - which enables users to connect with friends, colleagues, and family to count steps together.
  3. A leaderboard - which enables friends to compete with each other when it comes to highest number of steps

The Integration

Stepz chose Tapglue over building the backend for two reasons: time and stability. Michael shared that he wear a lot of hats and that building a social API by himself would have taken significant time. Another deciding factor was that he doesn’t have to do any maintenance on the server side, which frees up a lot of time.

Michael shared:
“The Tapglue API is rock solid, and the technical support was excellent. The documentation was easy to understand, and if I had any questions, I could reach out to them and get immediate feedback.”

Within days, Tapglue enabled Stepz to create individual user profiles connected to the user’s Facebook page. After signing up, the user can easily add his or her friends already on Stepz, or by connect with friends via Facebook, under the Stepz Friends tab. After accepting a friend request, the user is able to see the steps of each friend. Stepz also added a leaderboard that is sorted by highest number of steps as a way to add some friendly competition.

Connecting with friends is critical for both retention and for fitness goals. Michael explains:

“Numerous studies show a strong correlation in sharing progress and shedding weight. Adding a social component to Stepz helps our users meet their goals and positively impacts app retention.”

The Results

Within 60 days of the Tapglue integration, Stepz saw an increase of 10% in session frequency and 12% in session length. We have also seen the coveted viral effect. Significantly more of Stepz’s users are inviting their Facebook friends to download the app and compete on the leaderboard.

Michael is thrilled:

“Ultimately, integrating Tapglue was an inexpensive and easy way for me to test if community features will grow traction. So far the results have been solid. I look forward to adding more social features, and to focus on continuing to improve onboarding with new app updates.”