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Monthly Active User: Definition and Its Limitations

Last updated: May 16, 2023

What is a Monthly Active User?

Monthly Active User, or MAU, is a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) metric that is used by a company to calculate the unique users who visit their website each month.

In general, a website can identify monthly active users through their username, email address, telephone number, and so on.

MAU is a metric that can help you measure the social networking performance of a website, as well as being the basis for calculating other website metrics.

This metric is also useful for assessing the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and measuring customer experience, both for current and potential customers.

Monthly Active User Metric Limitations

After knowing the meaning of Monthly Active User, then you will find out what the limitations of this metric are.

1. Lack of Industry Standardization

The lack of industry standardization is one of the limitations of the MAU metric for comparative success.

This is because every company has its own terminology, and certain companies also think that MAU is not a metric that is the standard for their success.

The absence of a uniform standard for each MAU component makes it very difficult to target the comparative success of an enterprise website.

2. User Quality Not Measured

In practice, user quality is considered not to be the component measured by the MAU metric. This is because, basically, every user is created with different behaviors.

Different media sources tend to produce different users with different behaviors.

Since user behavior and quality are relative, this makes user quality unmeasurable on the MAU metric.

While some campaign ideas may generate a lot of traffic, users visiting a site may exhibit poor engagement or cause sudden spikes in churn.

3. Unreliable Metrics for New Business

For new websites, the MAU metric isn't the only thing you can rely on to maximize your business success.

To monitor the website's performance using this metric, it is recommended that you start when the traffic has stabilized.

All promotion activities, such as paid advertising, social media marketing campaigns, etc., can all increase the MAU number significantly.

This applies if your website already has good branding, so it will be easier for your website to gain popularity on Google.

How Important is Paying Attention to Monthly Active Users?

Basically, you need to measure how users interact with your website.

A high MAU usually indicates a good level of app engagement and leads to positive retention over a period of time.

Paying attention to this metric allows you to better assess the effectiveness of your marketing strategy, making it one of the parameters by which to measure your site's performance.

As a user-oriented metric, MAU can help you evaluate the following:

  • User interest in visiting your site
  • Marketing campaign success
  • Revenue-growth rate
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