October 31, 2023

In-App Walkthroughs: What They Are, Benefits, and Examples (2023)

Gain a clear understanding of app walkthroughs and some of the best examples—and how to use this onboarding tactic to guide users to activation.

Ananya Vairavarajan

Imagine being in a new, wondrous place. Without guidance, you might miss out or not grasp every detail of it. But with a friendly local to lead, you'll uncover every hidden corner.

Just like a friendly local who shows you around, app walkthroughs are like your helpful buddies, guiding you through how to use a new app.

What is in-app walkthrough?

An app walkthrough serves as a detailed, interactive guide, leading users through a sequence of steps to get acquainted with the app flow and features. It employs tooltips, carousels, stories, and other in-app messages such as coachmarks and spotlights to emphasize the necessary actions users must take to finish their tasks.

In an app walkthrough, new users explore essential app features – the main activation points. These features are tailored to each user, ensuring they gain maximum value from your product.

Benefits of having a good app walkthrough

Here are the three key reasons why you need a good app walkthrough:

  1. Simplified understanding: Your product is more intricate than you realize. Even the simplest apps benefit from walkthroughs to ensure users understand their value.
  2. Reduced support: A solid app walkthrough reduces support tickets by guiding users through key app aspects, preemptively solving issues.
  3. Boosted loyalty: Effective onboarding via a good app walkthrough enhances user retention, preventing churn due to confusion.

Best examples of in-app walkthroughs


Binance uses an in-app walkthrough to educate new users and help them on their way to making their first trade. This leads to a rise in activation rates and over time improves retention and LTV.

Binance uses an app walkthrough to educate new users

Product Hunt

Onboarding tooltips are used for an app walkthrough in the Product Hunt app to help activate its users by providing guidance and education about the app's features and functionality.

By providing tooltips at the right moments, it simplifies complex functionality and guides users through the learning process.

Onboarding tooltips are used as an app walkthrough in the Product Hunt app


Slack immediately presents its features upon app launch through four walkthrough screens. This exemplifies value-driven onboarding, establishing app context, and showcasing advantages.

Slack immediately presents its features upon app launch through four walkthrough screens


The Gmail app uses a series of tooltips for an app walkthrough. This effectively emphasizes and showcases its core features, enabling users to easily discover and utilize the full range of functionalities offered by the platform.

The Gmail app uses a series of tooltips for an app walkthrough

ACT Fibernet

Incorporating an app walkthrough using spotlights, ACT Fibernet emphasizes vital features and ensures a smooth onboarding process. It ensures that new users possess the essential knowledge to navigate the platform proficiently.

This educational approach significantly improves the activation rates of new users, providing them with a positive initial experience and reducing barriers to entry.

Incorporating an app walkthrough using spotlights, ACT Fibernet emphasizes vital features and ensures a smooth onboarding process

Why is it difficult to build app walkthroughs in-house?

Engineering bandwidth is limited

The demands on engineering teams are high, as they are typically responsible for core product development, bug fixes, infrastructure maintenance, and other critical tasks.

This scarcity of engineering bandwidth can hinder the timely implementation of in-app walkthroughs, slowing down the progress and impact of onboarding initiatives.

Hard to change and optimize

If the initial app walkthrough doesn't yield positive results in achieving the goal metrics, it's essential to either optimize it or completely redesign it.

However, modifying in-house walkthroughs can be demanding, hindering quick improvements in user experience.

Plotline enables B2C growth and marketing teams to build app walkthroughs in a no-code manner

Plotline enables you to deliver exceptional in-app walkthroughs, guiding new users toward their "aha" moment faster through enhanced onboarding and behavior guidance.

It lets you create and deploy customizable app walkthroughs using in-app messages that match your design theme to a targeted user cohort.

If you'd like to know how Plotline’s in-app messages activate more users with better onboarding walkthroughs, start a free trial with us.

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