Active User

What are active users?

In mobile marketing, an active user is a person who accesses an app for a period of time. During this time, each user is counted uniquely to determine how many people use an app. There are three commonly used active user definitions:

  • Daily Active User (DAU): The number of unique users that engage with your app within a 24-hour window. 
  • Weekly Active User (WAU): Someone who interacts with an app over a period of seven days (e.g., January 1-7).
  • Monthly Active User (MAU): Someone who interacts with an app over a period of 30 days (e.g., a user who opens the app in January).

The usefulness of each measurement period depends on the business. For example, DAU is typically used by businesses that expect users to interact with their app on a daily basis (such as a game) — whereas an app that is based on seasonal or occasional usage, such as a travel app, might place more emphasis on MAUs.

Why are active users important?

Active users are important because they generate revenue. A high number of active users are a good indicator of success for an app. In addition, an accurate user count benefits app marketers and advertisers. 

For example, calculating the number of active users in-app over a period of time can provide data to help assess the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. Spikes in user activity can be used to measure and compare the effectiveness of notifications and weekly offers between campaigns.

Active user counts act as an indicator of an app’s general health and as a first step to calculating deeper metrics. For example, knowing the number of active users is essential to calculating key metrics, such as retention rate, and metrics such as lifetime value (LTV) can’t be calculated without knowing the retention rate — hence knowing the number of active users is critical to finding an app’s LTV.

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