What Is MAU? (Its Importance And How To Calculate It)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 21 September 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Monthly active users (MAU) is a key performance indicator (KPI). It is a quantifiable metric that social networking sites and other online platforms and applications use to get the number of unique visitors to the site within a month. If you manage a business or want to pursue your career as a digital marketer, learning more about MAU can help you improve a business's statistics. In this article, we answer 'What is MAU?', explain its significance, show how to calculate MAU, discuss the factors affecting its growth and answer related frequently asked questions.

What Is MAU?

The answer to 'What is MAU?' is that it is a high-level KPI that shows how many active users a certain website, application or platform has during a particular month. It displays the number of customers engaged in meaningful interaction with a company's product or services in the previous month or the last 30 days. Similar to this, some companies may track their daily active users (DAU) and weekly active users (WAU) depending on their product or industry to better understand their user involvement. Though MAU may tell something slightly different at different organisations.

This is because every company chooses its own criteria for what constitutes a user and what constitutes a meaningful relationship. As a result, it can be challenging to compare MAU between various organisations without knowing how they reach those figures. Similarly, it only shows the number of active users during a given time period, excluding the quality or level of their platform interactions.

Related: What Is An Organisation? (Characteristics And Structures)

Why Is MAU Important?

MAU is a crucial indicator that can show how successfully a business engages its customers. It enables businesses to measure user engagement using metrics besides downloads, overall traffic or the number of installs. A greater MAU shows the product is successful in meeting users' requirements and expectations. This might boost users' perceptions of the app's value and make it appear more valuable to them. MAU may show elements such as:

  • The overall health of a company

  • Growth rate

  • The overall level of interest in a product or service

  • Growth potential

  • Revenue growth and potential

  • The success rate of user acquisition campaigns

  • User retention rate

  • User churn rate

MAU is often a starting point when computing other measures. For instance, it can be useful for calculating the cost per acquisition or the lifetime worth of a customer. Since MAU may affect stock prices, it is important for organisations, particularly startups, to follow metrics like these, especially when they are seeking investments. Before making an investment in a company, investors generally evaluate MAU and comparable KPIs to find out the organisation's growth potential and overall performance.

Related: What Does A Performance Tester Do? (Salary And Skills)

How To Calculate MAU

Here are the steps you can follow to calculate MAU:

1. Define the key terms

Start calculating the company's MAU by identifying the key terms linked to this KPI. For each organisation, these definitions may be different. Determine the metrics that qualify someone as a user, such as whether this is someone who only visits the website or someone who has registered their account in it. Decide the behaviour that defines the active user, such as logging into their account, liking or sharing a post or taking some other comparable action.

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2. Specify a timeline

Select the time period that you may use to determine MAU. You have the option of computing MAU using a 30-day window or the precise calendar month. You can determine the timeline in a similar manner if you want to calculate DAU or WAU. For instance, DAU can depend on a certain 24-hour period or calendar day, whereas WAU might depend on a specific 7-day period or calendar week.

Related: Time Management Skills: Definition And Examples

3. Count active users

Count the number of users who were active within the given time period based on the defined parameters. It is crucial to only count each user once to assure accuracy, even if they were active more than once over the month. Some of the techniques for locating specific users include:

  • User ID

  • Account names

  • Email addresses

  • ID numbers

Related: What Are User Onboarding Tools? (With Benefits And Examples)

4. Consider calculating ratios

Think about determining DAU using these comparable indicators so you can find out the DAU/MAU ratio. This rate helps you better understand the rate of repeat consumers. A higher rate demonstrates strong user engagement and a higher perceived value, whilst a low rate may suggest a reduced interest in the platform.

Here is the formula to calculate this ratio:

DAU / MAU ratio = (DAU / MAU) x 100

Related: The Difference Between Consumer Vs. Customer (With FAQs)

Understanding Changes In MAU

MAU rates often fluctuate depending on a number of variables. For instance, new user acquisition, existing user retention and lapsed user reactivation may impact MAU figures. Here is the meaning of the increase and decrease in MAU:

Increase in MAU

It is important that the number of new users added and existing users who reactivate their accounts is larger than the number of current users who leave the platform for MAU to increase. This increase may be the result of:

  • Churn: A company may be able to lower its churn rate and increase MAU if it introduces an update or new feature that fixes problems due to which users leave the platform.

  • New users: An increase in downloads and new users through an advertising campaign, an app feature and function or general positive media attention may bring on new monthly active users.

  • Reactivations: By implementing an email campaign or push notification, a company can successfully reengage inactive users and encourage them to use the app or service again.

Related: What Is A Churn Rate? (With Importance, Merits And Examples)

Decrease in MAU

MAU may decline if the number of current users who leave the platform outweighs the number of current users who reactivate their accounts and the number of new users the platform attracts. This decrease may be due to:

  • Churn: If a platform encounters technical problems, adds features that people dislike or other challenges arise that drive users away, the organisation's churn rate may increase.

  • New users: A company may experience a decline in new users because of a lack of advertising or promotions, subscription renewals or modifications to how the app store or media cover the product.

  • Reactivations: If a company discontinues implementing engagement or reactivation campaigns, inactive users can forget about the platform and stop using it, which can lower MAU.

Related: Bounce Rate Vs Exit Rate: Differences, Examples And FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions Related To MAU

Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about MAU:

What is an active user in KPI?

As per the KPI, an active user is the one who completes one or more activities on an app. Users may already have an account or subscription with an app, but they are only active once they open the app, use the features, or navigate through it. Because it indicates how many people are actually using an app, the number of active users makes a great KPI. It conveys the functionality of an app. Here are some typical forms of activities that characterise an active user, though app activities can vary depending on the type of app:

  • Accessing an application

  • Registering an account

  • Updating or creating a profile

  • Making a purchase

  • Visiting a product or service page

  • Opening an image

  • Playing a video

  • Commenting on a post

  • Sharing a post with others

  • Completing tasks

  • Viewing reports

Related: 6 Report Writing Skills: Definition And Tips To Improve

How to calculate daily active users?

The number of unique individuals who open the app each day makes up the daily active users. You might select a single 24-hour period and count the number of distinct individuals who were online throughout it to determine this value. You can also find the count of average users visiting the app per day. Add the daily total of unique users over the course of a month to achieve this. Next, multiply that figure by the total number of days in the month.

For instance, find the average number of daily active users during the month of August. Start by totalling up all the daily unique user counts. You may have 172 users. Next, multiply that number by 31 days. As a result, you receive 5.5 users on average each day.

Related: What Are User Onboarding Tools? (With Benefits And Examples)

What is the DAU/MAU ratio?

The DAU/MAU is the ratio of daily active users to monthly active users. This indicator, often known as stickiness, calculates how frequently users interact with an application each month. For instance, if the DAU/MAU ratio is 75%, users interact with an app on average 22.5 days each month or 75% of the time. A high DAU/MAU score is excellent since it shows that users are sticking with an app over time and coming back to use it. A 100% DAU/MAU score indicates that consumers use the app daily.

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