What is K-Factor for Apps and How to Calculate? -

What is K-Factor for Apps and How to Calculate?


K-Factor is a metric used to measure the virality of a mobile app. It is used to track how many new users an existing user brings in; the higher the K-Factor, the more viral an app is. In medicine, the term was initially coined to determine and measure how quickly a virus spreads; one can understand how it factors into the mobile app industry.

How to Calculate K-Factor?

There are a few different ways to calculate K-Factor. The most common way is to take the number of new users an existing user brings in, divided by the number of total users.

K-Factor = [Number of Users Brought in by an Existing User / Total App Users]

Another way to calculate K-Factor is to take the number of new users in a given time period, divided by the number of users at the beginning of that period.

K-Factor = [New Users Arriving in a Specific Time Cohort / Total App Users]

The K-Factor can be a valuable metric for mobile app marketers to track; it can help them to understand how well their app is spreading, the strength of the app’s referral engine and they can also identify areas for improvement regarding their user acquisition strategy.

Tips to Improve your App’s K-Factor

It is worth noting that while there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of how to improve your app’s K-factor, there are still a few general tips that can help.

1. Make it easy for users to invite their friends

The easier you make it for users to invite their friends, the more likely they are to do it. Check your app’s user journey funnels to ensure that their ability to share is fully optimized. Having CTA’s such as “Share” or “Send to a Friend” are direct buttons that can help your user base share the app with their circles.

2. Make sure your app is of high quality and provides value

It doesn’t take a genius to come to the conclusion that if your app is good, people will be more likely to invite their friends. No matter how well-optimized your app’s shareability is, if the users don’t deem it to be of good value, they will not share it. Your app needs to present its unique selling proposition to users in an articulate and easily conceivable way.

3. Incentivize users to invite their friends

Offering rewards for successful referrals can encourage people to invite their friends. Many apps are offering referral rewards to their users; finance apps like Wise offer users bonus money if they bring in at least 3 users that top up $200 to their accounts. Your incentive does not necessarily need to be tied to new users coming in, as that’s easy enough; aim to get the referrals to commit to an event once they join your app. You can use rewarded engagement campaigns to incentivize new users to join your app, try it out, and (if they like it) share it with their friends for extra points.

4. Keep your app fresh and up-to-date

Regular updates and new features will keep users engaged and coming back, which will increase the chances that they’ll invite their friends. New content is a surefire way to not only bring in new users and improve your K-factor but also bolster your DAU and engagement metrics.

5. Make it easy for users to share your app

While the first tip had to do with internal optimizing, this tip focuses on optimizing your app’s externality. Social media integration and other sharing features can help you get the word out about your app and increase its reach. A regular presence on social media platforms and maintaining healthy communication with your app’s communities will improve your visibility and, consequently, your K-factor.

It is a common misconception that one can simply achieve virality through viral marketing; however, by following these tips, you can improve your app’s K-factor and help it reach its full potential.

K-Factor: Drivers of App Growth

There are many benefits to improving your app’s K-Factor. By improving your K-Factor, you can improve your app’s


Your app’s virality is the number one driver of growth. As mentioned before, there is no set formula to ‘make things viral’ but there are certain elements that can lead to viral growth. Improving your app’s K-Factor is one of the best ways to go about this. While virality cannot necessarily be achieved through planned strategies, the next two drivers of growth can be.

Organic Acquisition

The organic acquisition is the second most important driver of app growth. It represents the users that organically discover your app and install it. Once your app has reached a certain stage of visibility, users in the store will be able to see it on their devices and make a decision without needing any advertising. By improving your K-Factor you can boost your organic traffic; this then translates into more efficient mobile marketing campaigns in the future.


Engagement is the third driver of growth. Your app should maintain a healthy level of communication with its user base; this way, any issues can be determined quickly and optimized before they lead to a user exodus. The more engaged users you have, the more likely they are to continue using your app and tell their friends about it. The higher your app’s K-Factor, the more engaged your users will be. Again, you can use rewarded engagement campaigns to incentivize new users to engage with your app by completing an action. If your app is designed well, these new users will be retained and eventually bring in new users with themselves.

These growth drivers are entwined with each other, when one element increases the others are likely to follow suit. If your app is being shared by a large proportion of its user base, this is a sign of virality and additionally, it means that your users are engaged in the app (which would explain the sharing). With more and more users sharing the app, your organic acquisition will see an uplift.

Rewarded Engagements & K-Factor

A rewarded engagement campaign, also known as an offerwall campaign, is a very unique method of user acquisition. An offerwall campaign is a marketing tool that allows app advertisers to offer incentives to potential users in exchange for installing their app or completing a desired action, such as making a ‘signing up’, ‘creating an account, or even ‘making a purchase. The incentive is usually in the form of points offered within an offerwall that, when accrued, can be used as in-app currencies or even real monetary rewards (think Paypal top-ups or Starbucks points, for example).

The main point of rewarded engagements is to boost your app’s user base count by gaining a large number of installs in a short period of time. This improves your app’s visibility as it rises amongst other apps within its category and, hence, results in an organic uplift. Granted your app is primed to engage these new users, but you can expect these new organic users to bring more with them and consequently bolster your app’s K-factor.


There are many metrics to keep in mind when growing your app, and K-factor ought to be one of the main ones to look out for. Through K-factor, you can calculate how well your app is circulating amongst new and existing users and will also give you a good measure of its success.

If you’re interested in improving your app’s K-factor or simply discussing strategy, visit AppSamurai for more information. If you would like to try a rewarded engagement campaign strategy, sign up now and a dedicated account manager will reach out to you and assist you in every step of the process.


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