Glossary | A | 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. 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.

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).

While DAU is typically used by businesses that expect users to interact with their app daily whereas an app that is based on seasonal or occasional usage, such as a travel app, might place more emphasis on MAUs.