Getting Started with Fullstory

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Welcome to the Fullstory family – we’re glad to have you join us in the movement to make the web more user-friendly!

  1. Install your Data Capture Snippet
  2. Segments
  3. Sessions & Omnisearch
  4. Metrics
  5. Funnels
  6. Conversions
  7. Journeys
  8. Dashboards
  9. Heatmaps
  10. Retention
  11. Customize your data
  12. Integrations

Once you have selected your initial privacy configurations, the first step toward capturing all web-based interactions and making them available for pixel-perfect playback is deploying Fullstory’s JavaScript snippet. You can also install Fullstory via the @fullstory/browser package hosted on NPM.

A couple of notes about the data capture snippet:

  • It’s super small, asynchronous and designed to be unnoticeable to your users. You can read more about the negligible performance impact of Fullstory in this article.
  • No need to instrument any elements in your application or site. Once the Fullstory script loads, it captures all web based interactions and mutations. Don’t fret about how to capture that particular “submit” button – if it’s in the page, Fullstory sees it, captures it, and makes it available to search.

You can find the snippet by clicking on Settings > Data Capture and Privacy > Fullstory Setup


Simply paste the snippet into the <HEAD> element either via your Content Management System (CMS) or directly into your application’s code. Captured sessions will appear in Fullstory within a few minutes as long as users are visiting your site and navigating. (If you want to use GTM to install, read more here: Google Tag Manager for installation.)

While you’re installing, you’ll likely want to think about excluding some elements. Fullstory allows you to block sensitive data from being captured through a construct called “Excluded Elements.” It allows you to identify the CSS selectors of data you want to keep private.

The privacy of your customer data is a shared responsibility. Fullstory diligently ensures that your customer data is securely stored and accessible only to you. In addition, we provide you with a tool to easily exclude sensitive customer information.

Fullstory offers three out-of-the-box Privacy Configurations. For some customers, the initial selection of one of the three default configurations will be sufficient. For customers who want to fine-tune their privacy and data capture rules, we provide fine-grained controls in Settings > Data Capture and Privacy > Privacy. From there, you can manage data capture rules.


Invite your team

Fullstory is better with friends. While you wait for sessions to roll in, go ahead and invite your teammates


Once you've installed the snippet to your site, we recommend you start to think about which groups of users matter most to you in your web environment. This is where building Segments comes into view.

Segments are a cohort of users (or a customized group of people) you can create based on behavior or attributes. Once built, Segments tell you who your users are, what they’re doing on your site, and what platform they are experiencing it on. They also serve as the basis of initial session replay deep-dives and deliver the detail required in Dashboards.

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Watch some sessions

As sessions start being captured, you’ll see them populate in the main Fullstory screen. The green “Online” icon indicates that the user may still be online and the session is still being captured. The blue icon with the date and time indicates the session is complete (we close sessions after 30 minutes of inactivity).


Session Capture Still in Progress

Session Capture is Complete



Once you've clicked on a session, the icon will no longer be filled in with color, indicating that it has already been watched. The watched indicator is at a user level, so your teammates will not see a session marked as watched if they haven't watched it using their own login. 


OmniSearch, for the win!

Watching all sessions is nearly impossible, not to mention has very little analytical value. Try Fullstory's powerful search capabilities to narrow down sessions to only those relevant to your query.

With OmniSearch, you just type your thoughts into the search box, and we help you get where you're going. 

Here are some possibilities with the search:

  • Look at user-centric variables like location, operating system, browser, and device, or search based on any of the custom variables you’ve pulled into Fullstory.
  • Search by pages visited, path, query parameter, etc.
  • Search by any element in a page and how a user interacted with it like form fields changed or objects clicked.

When you build a search you’d like to repeat in the future, just click the “Save Segment...” button to add this search to “Your Segments.” You can revisit your segments later and even share them with the rest of your team.

To learn more about Search and become a Search Star, take a look at our detailed user guide, Getting Acquainted with Search.



Metrics are a defined calculation and result. In other words, it is your Fullstory calculator. When using metrics, Fullstory is ready to count, and you get to teach it how and give it a name. Once you define what you want to measure, you can later apply users (Segments) to the metric, giving it scale.


All funnels flow through your site or app or processes you want your customers to complete. In other words, it's the path or design that represents what you want users to do on your site. Often, this is called the "Happy Path". The question a funnel typically answers is, "What would happen if nothing went wrong?"

Traditionally, naming conventions start with the part of the site or app they pertain to and will form the initial category definition. Again, the category can represent the department or the brand they refer to, depending on the setup and requirements. Some examples are below.


Conversions are an analysis of a funnel, including top signals impacted. You can also pull any funnel that you might build into conversion tools. In other words, it is a statistical analysis applied to a funnel.


Journeys focus on analyzing the most common paths users take. The analysis is based on paths to and from a certain page or event or all the Exit or Entry paths. The defining factors are:

  • Whether they are ‘to’, ‘from’, ‘exit’, or ‘entry.’
  • The page or event they are based on
  • Whether they are segmented at all
  • The time period
  • Whether they are single or multi-session and have repeated pages combined or split.


Dashboards are where we can bring all of these building blocks discussed above together to marry together the quantitative data to the qualitative data.


Heatmaps provide visual, aggregate data about how users engage with your pages. They consist of Click Maps and Scroll Maps.


Retention charting visualizes user engagement by tracking the number of users that return to a specific event after another over time. 

Customize your data

Fullstory provides a mechanism to pass in non-session-specific variables via our API. Common use cases include unique identifiers (e.g., application ID “friendly” names) and data about things like subscription level, items in the cart, and tools integrated into your platform.

There are two different methods to add custom data to Fullstory:

Take advantage of integrations.

Fullstory offers native integrations with leading platforms, including, Help Scout, UserVoice, Zendesk, and Olark.

These integrations place a link to the Fullstory session into your help desk platform as an attachment to the ticket so your customer service agents can see what happened before, during, and after a ticket was submitted.

You can also integrate with communication tools such as Slack and Trello or project management tools like Bugsnag, JIRA, or Mixpanel.

Every integration gets your current tools tied into Fullstory, so you always have a Fullstory session to settle all bets. 

Need something we haven't built? Roll your own with FS.getCurrentSessionURL().

Need to get in touch with us?

The Fullstory Team awaits your every question.

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