Glossary
Mobile App Terminology simply explained

What Are Daily Active Users?

Daily active users (DAU) measures the number of unique users who interact with your app within a 24-hour window. It can be used to measure user engagement, growth, and retention rates, as well as churn rates.

The metric takes into account new users and existing users who have been active in your app – regardless of how long they spend in it. Tracking your DAU shows you how many people use your app. It’s then up to you to further engage these users to keep them coming back, day after day.
Key Takeaways
  • The DAU metric, with session duration and other KPIs, can tell you how good your app is at retaining users
  • A unique visitor only counts once, no matter how many times they log out and back in again
  • DAU is more insightful than MAU when it comes to analyzing user behavior

Why Is DAU Important?

Your DAU metric comprises both new users and returning users. Separately, you can measure how quickly your app attracts new users and how quickly they return day over day. 

An app with millions of downloads but a low DAU metric begs the question: “Are users actually engaging with this app?”

Here’s why your daily active users metric matters.

1. User Engagement

With DAU, you can measure both user engagement and calculate potential user revenue. If you’re looking to increase user engagement rates in the long term, then it’s all about bringing in more unique active users. 

When used together with your monthly active users, the DAU metric can help you track whether or not users are dropping off over time and take appropriate action to remedy the situation. Tracking this key metric over a period of time is often considered a more accurate way to determine if your app has significant traction than MAU. 

2. Use DAU to Calculate Other KPIs

Other key metrics, such as lifetime value (LTV), average revenue per day active user (ARPDAU), and retention rate can’t be calculated without your DAU metric.

No publisher can deny that DAU is an absolutely crucial metric to consider for the health of their app. Nevertheless, active users don’t always indicate happy users – so you should keep in mind that combining DAU with other KPIs will give you a better holistic picture of your users’ in-app experience. 

Besides combining DAU with other related metrics, such as monthly active users (MAU), don’t neglect your user acquisition metrics, in-app purchases (IAPs), reviews, and time spent in your app when it comes to assessing your app’s performance and if there are any problems to address.

3. Compare with Industry Standards

By looking at how your daily active users compare against industry averages, you can get a sense of how well (or how poorly) you’re performing.

What is a good number of daily active users? Benchmarks will vary depending on the app vertical and the GEO in which it is being used – but also on your particular growth goals. If you want to increase your DAU, you will most likely increase your user acquisition efforts.

abstract image of two young people looking at their phones representing daily active users

How Do You Calculate DAU?

Before you calculate your daily active users, you first need to define what your app recognizes as “active users.” What action should your users complete in order to be considered an active user. Do they need to log in, click a button, or scroll?

Once you’ve decided on how to identify your active users, you are ready to calculate your daily active users. You can identify your DAU as follows:

how to calculate DAU metric: Daily Active Users = Number of unique users logged in on a given day

How Do I Boost Daily Active Users?

If you want to know how to increase DAU for your app, you should look at optimizing your user acquisition strategy and growing your user base with paid media. 

Otherwise, you can take steps to keep the users you have already acquired engaged: 

  • Send users push notifications to re-engage them in your app – but avoid alienating your users by sending them too often
  • Remind your users of your app via email – this could help particularly with onboarding 
  • Create special events that drive users back to your app – this can be done with live-ops or even promotions to earn in your app.
  • Introduce daily rewards – this will require users to open your app every day.

Conclusion

To wrap it up, the DAU metric is invaluable for measuring the engagement and success of your mobile app and its LTV. The more users interact with an app on a daily basis, the “stickier” an app is. A growing DAU metric, in combination with higher engagement and retention rates, is a great sign that you’re retaining the right users for your app.

FAQs


What Are Daily Active Users?

Daily active users (DAU) refers to the unique daily visitors who use your app, whether online or offline.

How Is Daily Active Users Measured?

You can calculate daily active users by counting the number of unique users who opened your app within the last 24 hours.

What Is a Good Number of Daily Active Users?

A healthy DAU rate for an app should be over 20 percent. The higher the percentage, the better.


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