An active user is a user that has interacted in a meaningful way with a given service or a given product. Usually the definition of an active user depends on the service and product in question. For example, an active user on a social media network could be anyone that has an account and logs in.
Most mobile organizations measure and track the number of active users within a specific time period by:
- Month — monthly active users (MAU),
- Week — weekly active users (WAU), and/or
- Day — daily active users (DAU)
Monitoring active user count can help companies monitor the health of cross-platform and cross-channel growth.
Measuring active users (rather than simply measuring app downloads and app installs) ensures that a company’s acquisition engine is not a leaky bucket, or a situation in which you’re acquiring users without being able to activate and engage them. Experts suggest running cohort analysis to monitor mobile user retention, as well as tracking engagement metrics that are highly correlated with retention — among them, daily sessions per user, average time spent, and number of clicks.