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Onefootball increased users' sessions by 5% by testing features before releasing them

Introduction

Onefootball is a leading mobile football (soccer) app. Based in Berlin, they fuel the passion of five million fans around the world using iOS and Android devices, plus millions more on desktops. Onefootball provides three types of custom app content: raw data such as match scores; user-generated content (UGC), such as tweets; and content created by their newsroom and bloggers.


Challenge

One feature Onefootball tested was a Top News section on the app's News stream. Before releasing it, they wanted to determine whether boosting engagement with a collection of news content above the fold might inadvertently lower revenues. Specifically, they worried that users would simply stop at the news they were keen to read, without scrolling further. If so, the app would see less revenue from the digital ads that were critical to the business.

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Solution

Onefootball first wanted to test whether their Top News feature would increase engagement, as measured by articles read per user. If the answer was yes, they next wanted to know what the feature should look like. What design was best—one with a rich content UI, or one with fewer words and more visuals? They tested the UI using three groups. The control group saw no Top News section. Variation A saw Top News and a team-specific section, with more visual details on each news item to attract more attention. Variation B saw only Top News and a team specific section.

By using Remote Config and Firebase Analytics, Onefootball was able to prove that higher engagement didn't hurt revenues and that Variation B's cleaner UI worked best. "Remote Config is crucial for us because we can't really get meaningful conclusions without it," says Maxime Blanc-Strauss, Onefootball's head of product. The testing process took just seven days. Now, app users who see the Top News section read more news than before.

"Testing features first using Firebase helped us to make the right decision, which resulted in an increase of user daily engagement by five percent," Blanc-Strauss says. In addition, the number of Onefootball articles read per user rose six percent. These are excellent scores in any league.


Results

5% higher sessions per user

6% more articles read per user

16% icrease in high quality content consumption

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"Testing features first using Firebase helped us to make the right decision, which resulted in an increase of user daily engagement by five percent."

- Maxime Blanc-Strauss, head of product, Onefootball