MAU, WAU, and DAU: What are monthly, weekly and daily ‘active’ users?

Vikram Aditya
CEO & Co-founder
August 7, 2023

Understanding the metrics that measure active user engagement - Daily Active Users (DAU), Weekly Active Users (WAU), and Monthly Active Users (MAU) - is fundamental to enhancing your product strategy. In this article, we'll delve into the nuances of these pivotal metrics.

Daily Active Users (DAU) are users who perform a certain action, such as logging in or making a transaction, within a 24-hour period. 'Active' is the key term here; a user is considered 'active' not merely for visiting but for performing some defined action.

Weekly Active Users (WAU) builds on DAU by extending the timeframe. An active user in this context is one who has performed a predefined action at least once in a 7-day period. This metric helps understand user behavior over a week and allows for identification of weekly usage patterns.

Monthly Active Users (MAU) expands the time frame further, to a 30-day period. This metric is particularly useful for understanding long-term user engagement and retention. It gives insights into the number of users who stay engaged with your product over a longer period.

HOW ARE THEY MEASURED?

Daily Active Users (DAU) are tracked by noting each unique user who completes an action within a defined 24-hour period. 

Weekly Active Users (WAU) are calculated similarly, with the timeframe extended to 7 days. However, the consideration of 'week' could lead to variations depending on whether you choose a calendar week (Sunday to Saturday), or any continuous 7-day period. It's vital to have a consistent definition of 'week' for accurate tracking and comparison.

Monthly Active Users (MAU) are measured over a 30-day period. Given the variation in month lengths, it's important to define whether you are considering a calendar month, a 30-day period, or a 4-week period as a 'month'. Consistent definition and measurement are key to understanding and leveraging MAU data.

INTERPLAY BETWEEN DAU/WAU/MAU

The interaction between  DAU, WAU,  and MAU allows product managers to perceive user behaviors at distinct timeframes and draw upon the unique practical implications each one provides.

DAU serves as a critical pulse-checker, offering:

  • Immediate Marketing Feedback: DAU offers real-time feedback on daily marketing campaigns such as flash sales or one-day events. A surge in DAU immediately after such events can serve as a quick measure of campaign success.
  • Feature Testing Response: The impact of a new feature or design modification can be gauged swiftly by monitoring the DAU. Changes in the DAU reflect the user's response to the new feature or design.

Let's say you've introduced a new live chat feature in your software platform. If you notice an upward trend in DAU soon after, it suggests a positive response to this new feature.

  • Intra-Day Usage Patterns: DAU can highlight peak usage times and event-driven activities, informing scheduling decisions for content releases or live events.

For example, If you're running a news app and you notice a peak in DAU every morning and evening, this could indicate users' preference to consume news at the start and end of their day. This insight can guide your content scheduling decisions.

WAU provides a broader perspective:

  • Weekly Engagement Impact: Weekly actions, such as newsletters, can be effectively measured using WAU. Suppose you send out a weekly newsletter featuring a summary of new articles or updates. A significant bump in WAU after each newsletter dispatch would indicate its effectiveness in driving engagement.
  • Non-Daily Usage Patterns: For products not designed for daily use, WAU provides a more accurate depiction of the active user base. For example, if you're managing an e-learning platform that releases a new module every week, monitoring WAU would give a more accurate picture of engagement than daily metrics, as users may not log in daily, but they would engage heavily on the days the modules are released.
  • Week-over-Week Growth: Tracking the WAU can help you understand the trajectory of your product or a new feature by observing week-over-week growth trends.

MAU offers the widest view:

  • Long-Term User Retention: A consistent growth in MAU over several months signals successful user retention. It reflects that users are returning to the product, finding lasting value in it.
  • Long-term Strategy Impact: MAU is a key metric for assessing the effect of major product changes or strategic initiatives. An MAU increase post such a change suggests the users find the new features or additions valuable.
  • Broader Market Trends: Seasonal activities and broader market trends can be reflected in the MAU, providing invaluable insights into larger engagement patterns.

In summary, the interplay of DAU, WAU, and MAU provides a multi-faceted understanding of user behavior. DAU offers granular, real-time insights, WAU tracks medium-term trends, and MAU provides a long-term, broader perspective. By leveraging the unique implications of each metric, product managers can make more informed decisions and plan strategically.

CONCLUSION

Active user metrics - Daily Active Users (DAU), Weekly Active Users (WAU), and Monthly Active Users (MAU) - serve as critical barometers of user engagement and product value. They transcend mere user counts, revealing behavioral patterns, assessing the effectiveness of marketing and product changes, and providing invaluable insights into short-term and long-term trends.

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August 7, 2023
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MAU, WAU, and DAU: What are monthly, weekly and daily ‘active’ users?

Understanding the metrics that measure active user engagement - Daily Active Users (DAU), Weekly Active Users (WAU), and Monthly Active Users (MAU) - is fundamental to enhancing your product strategy. In this article, we'll delve into the nuances of these pivotal metrics.

MAU, WAU, and DAU: What are monthly, weekly and daily ‘active’ users?

Understanding the metrics that measure active user engagement - Daily Active Users (DAU), Weekly Active Users (WAU), and Monthly Active Users (MAU) - is fundamental to enhancing your product strategy. In this article, we'll delve into the nuances of these pivotal metrics.

Daily Active Users (DAU) are users who perform a certain action, such as logging in or making a transaction, within a 24-hour period. 'Active' is the key term here; a user is considered 'active' not merely for visiting but for performing some defined action.

Weekly Active Users (WAU) builds on DAU by extending the timeframe. An active user in this context is one who has performed a predefined action at least once in a 7-day period. This metric helps understand user behavior over a week and allows for identification of weekly usage patterns.

Monthly Active Users (MAU) expands the time frame further, to a 30-day period. This metric is particularly useful for understanding long-term user engagement and retention. It gives insights into the number of users who stay engaged with your product over a longer period.

HOW ARE THEY MEASURED?

Daily Active Users (DAU) are tracked by noting each unique user who completes an action within a defined 24-hour period. 

Weekly Active Users (WAU) are calculated similarly, with the timeframe extended to 7 days. However, the consideration of 'week' could lead to variations depending on whether you choose a calendar week (Sunday to Saturday), or any continuous 7-day period. It's vital to have a consistent definition of 'week' for accurate tracking and comparison.

Monthly Active Users (MAU) are measured over a 30-day period. Given the variation in month lengths, it's important to define whether you are considering a calendar month, a 30-day period, or a 4-week period as a 'month'. Consistent definition and measurement are key to understanding and leveraging MAU data.

INTERPLAY BETWEEN DAU/WAU/MAU

The interaction between  DAU, WAU,  and MAU allows product managers to perceive user behaviors at distinct timeframes and draw upon the unique practical implications each one provides.

DAU serves as a critical pulse-checker, offering:

  • Immediate Marketing Feedback: DAU offers real-time feedback on daily marketing campaigns such as flash sales or one-day events. A surge in DAU immediately after such events can serve as a quick measure of campaign success.
  • Feature Testing Response: The impact of a new feature or design modification can be gauged swiftly by monitoring the DAU. Changes in the DAU reflect the user's response to the new feature or design.

Let's say you've introduced a new live chat feature in your software platform. If you notice an upward trend in DAU soon after, it suggests a positive response to this new feature.

  • Intra-Day Usage Patterns: DAU can highlight peak usage times and event-driven activities, informing scheduling decisions for content releases or live events.

For example, If you're running a news app and you notice a peak in DAU every morning and evening, this could indicate users' preference to consume news at the start and end of their day. This insight can guide your content scheduling decisions.

WAU provides a broader perspective:

  • Weekly Engagement Impact: Weekly actions, such as newsletters, can be effectively measured using WAU. Suppose you send out a weekly newsletter featuring a summary of new articles or updates. A significant bump in WAU after each newsletter dispatch would indicate its effectiveness in driving engagement.
  • Non-Daily Usage Patterns: For products not designed for daily use, WAU provides a more accurate depiction of the active user base. For example, if you're managing an e-learning platform that releases a new module every week, monitoring WAU would give a more accurate picture of engagement than daily metrics, as users may not log in daily, but they would engage heavily on the days the modules are released.
  • Week-over-Week Growth: Tracking the WAU can help you understand the trajectory of your product or a new feature by observing week-over-week growth trends.

MAU offers the widest view:

  • Long-Term User Retention: A consistent growth in MAU over several months signals successful user retention. It reflects that users are returning to the product, finding lasting value in it.
  • Long-term Strategy Impact: MAU is a key metric for assessing the effect of major product changes or strategic initiatives. An MAU increase post such a change suggests the users find the new features or additions valuable.
  • Broader Market Trends: Seasonal activities and broader market trends can be reflected in the MAU, providing invaluable insights into larger engagement patterns.

In summary, the interplay of DAU, WAU, and MAU provides a multi-faceted understanding of user behavior. DAU offers granular, real-time insights, WAU tracks medium-term trends, and MAU provides a long-term, broader perspective. By leveraging the unique implications of each metric, product managers can make more informed decisions and plan strategically.

CONCLUSION

Active user metrics - Daily Active Users (DAU), Weekly Active Users (WAU), and Monthly Active Users (MAU) - serve as critical barometers of user engagement and product value. They transcend mere user counts, revealing behavioral patterns, assessing the effectiveness of marketing and product changes, and providing invaluable insights into short-term and long-term trends.

Customer retention is the key

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What are the most relevant factors to consider?

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Don’t overspend on growth marketing without good retention rates

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What’s the ideal customer retention rate?

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Next steps to increase your customer retention

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