By Arran Gosal

Google recently rolled out a new feature for its analytics segments, which will hopefully improve collaboration and reduce the need for repeating work within teams. That feature is known as "Shared Segments".

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Shared Segments are perfect for you if:

  1. You have custom segments that are used by multiple users.
  2. You use reports that access the Core Reporting API and use custom segments.

Benefits of Shared Segments

The key benefit of this new feature is the ability to edit the segment only once, and have those updates reflected for each user.

This differs from the original method of sharing a segment template using a static link, as in this instance the segment is completely separate from the original, so any updates to the original segment will not be reflected in any shared versions.

As mentioned above, the new segment sharing capability will also prove useful for anyone using custom segments with the Core Reporting API. Previously, only the segment's creator was able to use that segment in API calls; anybody else trying to make the same call will have met a "user does not have sufficient permissions" error.

Creating Shared Segments

Enabling the feature is easy, you simply click "change" in the top right hand corner of the segment editing box (highlighted below). This will open up another box with three options; to enable this feature, select "Collaborators and I can apply/edit Segment in this View":

Creating shared segments - Google Analytics

All users with access to the view in which you created the segment will now be able to find the segment by navigating to the segment selection box and selecting the "Shared" tab on the left (highlighted below).

Finding shared segments - Google Analytics

Each view now has its own separate limit of 100 shared segments, so other users sharing multiple segments won't impact the usual 100 segment per view limit.

Segment Summary - Google Analytics

New Segment Summary

As part of this new feature release Google also improved their segment summary offering, which you may have noticed in the image above. The aim is to reduce the number of mistakes people inevitably make when building advanced custom segments.

Replacing the old "test" feature which gave us a percentage of sessions that would be included in our newly created segment, we now have a snazzy looking doughnut chart.

As well as looking better, it is much more obvious and provides both numbers and percentages of users and sessions that would be included in the new segment. It also shows a summary of the conditions applied.

This will also benefit those of you with loads of traffic who may have faced the dreaded "This segment matches 0.0% of sessions" when testing the segment, despite the segment actually including a small number of sessions.

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