Real First Time Retention Tracking

  • 14 February 2019
  • 2 replies


We should be able to see how much time passes for users between signup and the first action we define for a retention event. This should work for the very first occurrence of the event and not subsequent occurrences.

2 replies

Userlevel 6
Badge +4

Hi @j-collier,

Admittedly the name of the report is very misleading, though it's called a 'First Time' retention report, it does not mean the first time the users have fired an event. This report is useful for tracking users who performed a specific event (such as sign-up), and how often they came back to do some other action on your site.

With that said, you could track the length between events. Here is the general implementation process for tracking the length in between events below:

  1. Decide what triggers a session start.
  2. Decide what programmatically constitutes a session end.
  3. Calculate the elapsed time between start and end Events.
  4. Append that elapsed time as an Event Property to either the session end Event or the first Event of the next session.

When you programmatically define a 'session-end' event in the context of your website (in your case: 'end lecture'), you can return the time between the start and end event using mixpanel.time_event. Call time_event at the session-start Event with the session-end Event name in the argument. When the track call is made for the session-end Event, an Event Property called “Duration” will be automatically calculated and appended to the session-end Event with the elapsed time in seconds as the Property value.

The full documentation about tracking time between events can be found here: Track Session Length. A direct link to the developer documentation about how to implement mixpanel.time_event is here.

Does this help with capturing time between events? If not, to get all the details of your use case, would you mind elaborating more on your Idea? We would appreciate as much detail as possible!

Userlevel 4
Badge +3

hi @j-collier , this is now supported in Mixpanel. For more details, take a look at this post: