I’ve been exploring in detail the Facebook Inisights platform and what/how they report figures. One huge item I can not figure out is the definition of what exactly a monthly active user (MAU) is considered on Facebook Insights.
In this post on the Facebook developers forum, moderator Mike Knoop writes the following in June 2010:
MAU is a summation of your daily count of unique users over 30 days. The best way to show this is on your applications insights page (linked above). Go there and tick the “last 30 days” box and the “past day” box for Active Users (engagement). If you expand the viewbar to see at least 30 days, and sum 30 day data points (the blue ones) you’ll get the MAU count on the 30th day.
(Note: Since that posting in the developers forum, The Next Web reported in September 2010 that the algorithm to quantify MAU had changed.)
Exporting data for 30 days from Insights gave me the following:
|Day||Daily Active Users||Monthly Active Users|
So in this data set from one one of my pages, Daily Active Users is about 4.7x overstated compared to MAU.
Monthly Active User (MAU) Definition from Facebook
Trying to dig further, Facebook reports the following in the description for DAU and MAU after exporting the data and opening the spreadsheet:
Daily Active Users (DAU)
Daily 1 day, 7 day, and 30 day counts of users who have engaged with your Page, viewed your Page, or consumed content generated by your Page (Unique Users)
Monthly Active User (MAU)
Monthly 1 day, 7 day, and 30 day counts of users who have engaged with your Page, viewed your Page, or consumed content generated by your Page (Unique Users)
The only thing these definitions make me more clear on is that Facebook is counting unique visitors to a Facebook page. But if this is the case, how is the 30 day summation of DAU grossly larger than MAU? If by Facebook’s 30 day count under MAU, shouldn’t the sum of DAU equal MAU on Day 30?
Any insights on the true definition of Monthly Active User? Leave a comment below if you think you’ve figured it out.