What are monthly active users?
Monthly active users is a metric used by websites, social media networks, and gaming platforms to measure audience strength. It counts unique users or logins to a specific platform within a 30-day period of time.
How does monthly active users work?
The Facebook example
Facebook currently has 2.23 billion monthly active users. This number is generally used to highlight the strength of the network, in part because users are motivated to login to the site at least once a month. It's seen as a more accurate measure of long-term viability.
Corporate advertisers want to invest in platforms that are active. Regular logins and click-throughs on social networking sites produce a set of consumer data that the social networks can use to sell advertising to organizations.
Especially for startups, monthly active users is used to determine growth in a business and whether or not the business is on track for success. If a startup has a good pitch and can get people to sign on but can't keep new users' attention investors will walk away.
Why monthly active users matters
Frequency build relationships
When companies advertise in online spaces that have frequent users they're getting a more targeted repetition of brand message they can't get on other social networks or with television or radio advertising.
Social media networks are more diverse than people assume. Almost a quarter of baby boomers follow brands on their preferred social media network.
The power of sharing
Active monthly users are more inclined to utilize the various sharing options that social media networks offer, meaning savvy marketers can take advantage of frequent users by turning them into online consumer brand advocates, with the right content sharing strategy.