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Is Your Top-Downloaded App Actually Getting Used?

Tracking user engagement and behavior is crucial to improving business performance. But when a company releases its own app, what good is a million downloads if the app isn’t being used? Mobile app data provider App Annie now has a way to tell which apps are actually being opened by the people who download them.

Its new product Usage Intelligence, now in its beta phase, tracks user engagement of mobile app, allowing clients to track crucial statistics about their app products. For a fee, companies can see estimates of how many people use the app, how often they use it, and how much time they spend in it.

App Annie’s new service highlights the potential for misleading information if companies base their consumer data off of simply how many users download their app. The firm offers additional insight into user behavior, including download revenue and user demographics.

According to App Annie CEO Bertrand Schmitt, an app developed in-house, named Free Unlimited VPN Defender, directs data collected from mobile browsing through a VPN, encrypting the user information. VPN Defender then aggregates that data, which is collected and sorted by App Annie’s algorithms.

Schmitt told re/code that Usage Intelligence, which launched Tuesday (Jan. 13), will first focus on U.S. users and move on to new locations at a later date.

The firm also announced Tuesday that it has raised $55 million in funding, its largest round to date; backing was led by Institutional Venture Partners.

Mobile apps have evolved in recent years into an important way for businesses to promote their services and gain customer traction. Apple announced this month that its first week of 2015 smashed records for Apple App Store sales, boasting New Year’s Day as its “single best day ever in App Store sales history.”

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