Users and Sessions in Google Analytics

2023-02-13 09:36:43 UTC

Google has a lot of standard metrics included in Google Analytics. Some are more useful than others with a Visiolink application. This article will explain two central Google Analytics metrics and relate them to a Visiolink application.


The Users and Active Users metrics show how many users viewed or interacted with your application. For Google Analytics, a user is a combination of unique random number and the first time stamp. This combination is called ‘Client ID‘. Thus Client ID is made up of a unique random number and the first time stamp. The Client ID is assigned to each unique user of your application.

A user reading a newspaper on two different platforms will create two different users. This happens because every device will use a specific ID. After using the application for the first time, Google will recognize the specific Client ID and count the device as the same user. If a user chooses to delete the cookies from the browser, Google will see the user as a new user.

The user metric provides a good way to see the number of unique users of the applications. However, a user can still be created in Google Analytics without the user actually reading a publication. You would, therefore, be able to start a user without having paid for a subscription. This is the main reason we recommend using the custom 'Download' event as a metric for traffic in the publication.


A session is a group of interactions which take place in your application within a given time frame. A single session can contain multiple screen or page views, social interactions, and events.

A user can have multiple sessions in a given period of time. With a Visiolink solution, sessions are not the best metric to gain information on the readers. Similar to a user, a session can be started without the user has paid for a subscription. We recommend using the 'Download' metric or the 'Publication (Openings)' metric as an alternative to sessions. These metrics can only be triggered inside the publication.

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