User retention in the virtual world:

case study of mars.gallery

Main findings:

  • Median time spent within experience 1m 50s and mean 3m
    (total duration of audio materials: 1m 30s)

  • Another person inside the experience does not affect median time,
    but increases mean time from 2m 30s to 4m.


The trajectories of attendants is collected in a non-personalized way. Only location/time information is known. The data is cleaned from accidental clicks (less than 10 seconds or almost no movements). The session duration is calculated from the first move to the second to the last move. It is done this way because some users leave the experience open in a tab, and then close it after some time.

Here is how trajectories look from top. Only a fraction of trajectories is displayed. Green circles represent the (i) icons in the experience. We can see concentration of trajectories in the center and there are people trying to explore the edges of the experience trying to break it.

We can also display the density map like this:

Cumulative distribution of session duration for users that were alone in the room (~60% of the sessions recorded) and with someone else inside (~40%). The cumulative distribution shows that the median value is almost identical around ~>100 seconds. However, the blue solid curve is systematically to the right of the orange dashed one meaning that people spend more time if there is someone else present.

More to come...