Coverage of our ongoing work with zeebox is a timely reminder that when it comes to mobile apps, it's not simply about testing, optimizing and building campaigns that lead to short-term revenue. Dependent on what matters to your business, there can be any number of specific user actions you want to influence.

zeebox are an obvious case in point. The app itself does not - unless things have changed since the last time I looked - support in-app purchases or any form of direct revenue generation. So not only would it be unwise to optimize for revenue - it would be impossible. What zeebox are interested in doing, and are doing rather well, is build a community: both in terms of user numbers and the way they interact within the platform.

On that basis it made total sense to run a testing program aimed at optimizing for social shares. For an organization with the objectives that zeebox has, the social share is doubly desirable: it supports viral, organic acquisition by ensuring that social friends of zeebox users become aware of the app. And it demonstrates greater interactivity with the platform, deepens engagement and helps establish zeebox as a social network in its own right. Given that is the case, it makes perfect sense to identify social shares as a KPI and build a testing and marketing program that aims to increase the number of social shares per user within the platform.

Of course the results speak for themselves. A greater than 500% increase in social shares resulting from a simple change in language just demonstrates how powerful the simplest changes in user experience can be, and how vital it is to test those changes in a way that makes those results evident. But zeebox is also a case in point in terms of optimizing for what really matters.

In many cases that may well be revenue - although even if your app does support in-app purchases, you will usually need to focus on retention first before addressing conversion. But it can also be any number of other objectives, of which social shares are just one. Others may include movement onto a subscription model, viewing of adverts, repeat purchases, usage of specific features, long-term retention - whatever metric you establish has the single greatest impact on your bottom line. Once you've figured out what you want to influence - get testing and building those in-app campaigns!