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Daily Active Users (DAU)

Daily Active Users (DAU)

Sergey Zubkov

Updated: July 27, 2023

4 min read


What is DAU 

Daily Active Users (DAU) refers to the app’s popularity, as it tracks the number of users who visit it every day. DAU is not limited to new users alone but also includes existing users who have remained active within the app in the past twenty-four hours. This means that whether a user spends a minute or an hour on the app, they are counted towards the DAU metric.

For app developers, this metric is a vital tool that helps them assess user engagement and loyalty. A high number of daily active users indicates that the app is meeting user needs and providing an immersive experience. It also means that users are more likely to remain loyal to the app over time, which can have a positive impact on the app’s success.

How to calculate DAU

Determining what defines an “active” user is a crucial factor in calculating the daily active users (DAU) metric for your app. Daily interactions that qualify as “active” can vary depending on the app’s functionality. For example, financial apps may consider a transaction as an active interaction, e-commerce apps may consider a purchase and messaging apps may consider sending a message as an active interaction. Social media apps may consider logging in as an active interaction.

Measuring user activity on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis (DAU, WAU, or MAU) is crucial for examining the customer journey and the impact of marketing campaigns. However, it’s also important to combine DAU with other related metrics, such as MAU, user acquisition metrics, in-app purchases (IAPs), reviews, and user engagement. Neglecting any of these metrics can hinder your understanding of your app’s performance and potentially overlook any issues that require attention.

How to evaluate your DAU

The number of daily active users (DAU) varies across different app categories. Some categories, such as real estate, financial, or utility apps, may not require daily usage and may benefit from tracking weekly or monthly active users instead. Conversely, social media, messaging, and e-commerce apps heavily rely on daily active users to measure success.

Monitoring DAU, Lifetime Value (LTV), and Average Revenue Per Paying User (ARPPU) is recommended to track user retention and monetization for all types of apps.

Why is tracking DAU important for your app marketing strategy

Along with the download rate, the DAU metric is essential to rate app success. Apps that have the highest number of downloads tend to also have high numbers of active users, indicating their success. Measuring daily active users (DAU) enables you to gauge user engagement and estimate potential revenue generated by users. Increasing unique active users is the key to enhancing long-term user engagement rates.

By combining DAU with monthly active users, you can monitor if users are dropping off over time and take necessary steps to address the situation. Tracking this important metric over time is often a more reliable way to assess whether your app has significant traction compared to relying solely on monthly active users (MAU). If your DAU:MAU ratio is low, such as only 20%, it’s an indication that you should consider optimizing your funnel.

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