Glossary
Monthly Active Users (MAU)
Monthly Active Users (MAU)
Monthly active users (MAU) is a metric to measure the number of unique users who engage with the app in a given month.

What is monthly active users?

In the context of mobile advertising, monthly active users (MAU) refer to the number of unique users who engage with the marketer's mobile app in a given month. Mobile marketers often use this metric to measure the reach and effectiveness of their advertising campaigns and track user engagement and activity over time. The definition of an "active user" can vary depending on the specific campaign in question and may include a range of different types of engagement, such as installing an app, making a purchase through an app, or interacting with mobile ad content. Additionally, MAU may be used in combination with other metrics, such as average revenue per user (ARPU) and return on ad spend (ROAS), to help marketers assess the overall performance of their mobile advertising efforts.

Why is tracking MAU important?

Tracking MAU allows mobile marketers to see how many people are actively using their app on a regular basis and can help them understand the reach and popularity of your app. Here are a few reasons why tracking MAU is important for mobile marketers:

  • MAU can enable marketers to understand user engagement and retention. By tracking MAU over time, marketers can see whether users are returning to your app regularly or if they are dropping off. This data can help marketers identify any issues with user retention and make necessary changes to improve engagement.
  • Marketers can make informed decisions to prioritize marketing efforts based on MAU. If the app has a high MAU, it may make sense to focus on retaining and monetizing those users, while if the app has a low MAU, marketers may want to prioritize acquiring new users.
  • MAU can help marketers measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. By tracking MAU before and after a marketing campaign, marketers can see the impact of the campaign on user engagement and retention.
  • MAU can be a metric to benchmark your performance against competitors. By comparing your MAU to that of your competitors, you can see how you stack up in terms of user engagement and popularity.

How do marketers calculate monthly active users?

To calculate MAU, marketers need to count the number of unique users who engage with the app in a given month. Depending on the data available and the goals you have, there are a few different ways to do this. Here are a few options:

  1. Count the number of unique devices that open the app in a given month. This is a simple way to measure MAU, but it may not be completely accurate if a single user has multiple devices or if multiple users share a device.
  2. Define “active” as a specific event and count the number of unique users who complete that target action in the app. This "specific event" could be making a purchase, posting a review, or any other action you consider a meaningful engagement with the app.
  3. Use an MMP to track individual users across devices and platforms. A little help from an MMP can give you a more accurate picture of MAU.

Regardless of which method you choose, it's important to be consistent in your tracking to measure changes in MAU over time accurately.

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