A Real-time Dashboard for Actions and Revenue
We are excited to announce that TestFlight was acquired by Burstly, and we are jointly launching TestFlight Live today! TestFlight Live is a real-time dashboard that highlights actions and revenue for iOS apps. The TestFlight Live feature set is broken down into four segments: engagement, audience, revenue, and stability. The goal of the product is to provide a real-time display of the important factors happening in your app right now. It is available via Safari and Chrome on the desktop, and on the go on your iPad and iPhone.
For those of you unfamiliar with Burstly, they are a team that shares our vision of improving the ecosystem for developers. Burstly has been working to help some of the biggest apps in the industry including Words with Friends, Angry Birds, PaperToss, and Tetris. They know how to support partners at scale. They are also good friends who we are excited to work closer with. We are thrilled to be joining forces with their team, and feel this is the best place for us to continue building the tools that developers love.
TestFlight has experienced phenomenal growth since we launched last year. We now have over 70,000 developers sharing more than 130,000 apps with a group of 280,000 testers! While the widespread adoption of our product has been humbling, we know we need to continue investing in features and performance to meet the needs of our expanding client base. This is where the investment dollars and scaling guidance from Burstly will be invaluable. With performance and support issues, and tremendous customer feedback, we are aware of what we need to improve upon. We are committed to tackling these issues to enhance the TestFlight experience and the additional resources provided by this acquisition are vital to that effort’s success. We are about to roll out major updates with the help of some new resources provided by Burstly in addition to the great work by our team.
Coming to TestFlight in March:
- Better performance – we are putting the finishing touches on an infrastructure overhaul that includes moving to managed dedicated hosting led by Anchor Systems (http://www.anchor.com.au/blog/2009/09/github-designing-success/)
- New UI for both desktop and mobile – completely revamped with improved workflows and more flexibility so we can continue to expand the product
- Desktop app + expanded API – screaming fast uploads, local IPA validations, and the most important bits of TestFlight on your desktop. The side effect of a rich desktop app is a rich API. We are excited to see what you will create with an expanded API
- Faster customer response times and an improved knowledgebase – we have grown our support team to make the TestFlight experience more enjoyable
- We’re hiring! If you’re excited to create amazing products that solve problems in all of the areas of the mobile app lifecycle, please let us know
TestFlight and Burstly will continue to be independent products. TestFlight remains a free service and optional paid features will be introduced in the future. TestFlight will continue to build the best developer tools and will include Burstly features only to improve product functionality (as in the case of adding revenue to TestFlight Live), and vice versa for Burstly products.
If you are not completely familiar with Burstly’s business, you are not alone since we did not fully grasp it when we first met back in April, 2009. Burstly offers developer’s tools to help better monetize their apps. The toolset allows mobile developers to run any type of content or messaging to its users, track in-app purchases from buttons or banners, cross-promote other apps, and to work with a wide variety of 3rd party ad partners to improve revenue. Burstly’s mission is to empower developers by providing data and visibility into their business, along with a toolset to act on that data. This is very similar to how our mission at TestFlight. We provide developers with the tools they need to be in control of their beta testing experience. With the launch of TestFlight Live we are starting to help with their business after their app has launched as well.
Both companies solve complex problems within the app lifecycle. TestFlight handles the beginning with beta testing tools, while Burstly manages the final stages with monetization options. Together, we are working to solve everything in between. A good first step in this direction is TestFlight Live.
We have been planning on launching a production version of TestFlight for some time, but we wanted to push ourselves to start solving production problems and not simply copy the beta feature set. Along with help from the Burstly team, we think we have taken a great first step with TestFlight Live. Our goal with TestFlight Live is to provide a real-time dashboard that displays real-time usage statistics, actions, symbolicated crash reports, and revenue. For the first time, developers will have a single dashboard that provides enough information to derive insights into Revenue Per User (RPU) and Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) to better understand your app business. Previously, this level of information would be from multiple sources and there was no easy way to collect it.
Burstly was the key contributor to the revenue portion of TestFlight Live, as they developed the APIs that make it possible. The revenue source options in TestFlight Live enable developers to include app sales data, in-app purchase data, and ad network revenue from multiple partners. You do not need to work with Burstly to pull in any of this data. If you do not want the revenue segment in your dashboard, we have provided a way for you to hide it.
Learn more about the features of TestFlight Live.
Almost three years ago, it took a well-connected Portland iPhone maven, Raven Zachary, to introduce two mobile guys who could not find each other in LA. Thank you @ravenme! Through this introduction we became one of Burstly’s first customers when we agreed to be their guinea pig with our app, Gigotron. They even put us in their launch video as their first customer (jump to 1:40). We were actually debating building something similar at the time to enable local bands to promote their shows, but it was clear Burstly’s toolset and thinking was a few steps ahead of ours when it came to promotion/monetization. Ever since then, our teams have been working together.
We are looking forward to waking up everyday to work with our friends and build better products than we are able to build alone.
While we are thrilled to join forces with Burstly, we won’t be surprised if not all of our customers are equally enthusiastic. After internal discussions, we felt like the two biggest reasons for a negative reaction would be: (1) TestFlight would change for the worse and (2) privacy concerns and trust with your data. Since we hope it is already clear by this point that TestFlight is only getting better, we want to address the trust issue. TestFlight handles top secret developer projects, Burstly handles top secret financial data for some of the largest apps in the world. Both companies are responsible for safeguarding their customers’ precious data and can be successful only by maintaining the highest standards in this regard.
We are committed to improving and growing the TestFlight experience. If anything about our new partnership with Burstly causes you concern we hope you will visit TestFlight Live and see this effort as a first step towards building better tools for all developers.
We have strong convictions in our future roadmap and the benefits to our community of trusted TestFlight developers. We hope you will give us enough time to execute so the products and our actions speak louder than anything we could possibly write in this post. If, for any reason, you don’t want to continue using our toolset due to our new relationship you can use the “remove account” button under “account settings” and erase all of your data and delete your account.
Ready to get started with TestFlight Live? Simply insert one line of code into your production app or leave the SDK you have been using for beta testing. We could not be any more excited about the opportunity to solve developer’s problems and help drive the app ecosystem forward.