Aug 312009

There’s always a lot of questions around statistics and in particular how active “active users” actually are.  Facebook has what, 200 million? 250 million members? How many of them log in regularly? Well, let’s look at Australia and our massive growth since May 2007. From a few thousand users then to 6 and half million today, 2 years on.

Active Australian Facebook Users

Note the last section – nearly 6 million active users over 18 in Australia. If we look at over 13 year olds:

6m Australian Facebook UsersFrom memory, you can’t market to 13 year olds on Facebook. Shame. I’ve got some nice lollies and toy trucks and dolls to unload on ‘em :P

But what is an Active User?

General Growth
  • More than 250 million active users
  • More than 120 million users log on to Facebook at least once each day
  • More than two-thirds of Facebook users are outside of college
  • The fastest growing demographic is those 35 years old and older (

After hunting around it seems that Facebook usually refers to “active users” as “monthly active users”.

MAU means monthly active user. You see other help topics for information about how a user is counted as an active user.
DAU = number of individual users who have interacted with the app during a particular day.
WAU = number of individual users who have interacted with the app during 7 days.
MAU = number of individual users who have interacted with the app during 30 days.
Here’s the list of actions which will add a unique user to your MAU count:

  • mock ajax request
  • fbml link click
  • canvas page view
  • click-to-play swf
  • message attachment
  • fbjs ajax
  • accepting a request
  • viewing a profile tab
  • publishing something via a publisher

We currently do not count About page views.

Also note:

  1. A user does not need to have granted access to the app to be counted as an active user
  2. A user does need to be logged in *to Facebook* to be counted
  3. We don’t pass any special parameter to the app to indicate whether the user is an active user. Basically, they should always be counted, except if they’re logged out of Facebook entirely (but keep in mind that an app has no way to distinguish between a) a user who has logged out of Facebook and b) a user who has not granted the app access). (From

While the information above is for developers to count their monthly active users of their 3rd party applications on F8 (the Facebook development platform), it IS insightful.  A number of analysts have noted that active users refers to monthly logins. And last but not least, from Facebook themself:


Over 250 million active (users who have returned to the site in the last 30 days) (FactSheet)

Don’t listen to current nonsense about drop offs.  Think stabilization instead!


  13 Responses to “Facebook: Active users in Australia”

  1. What is an "active user" re: Facebook 6 million ? What actions constitute "active" participation for @TimboReid :)

  2. RT @SilkCharm: What is an "active user" re: Facebook 6 million? for @TimboReid :)

  3. Facebook: Active users in Australia
    There’s always a lot of questions around statistics and in partic..

  4. Hi Laurel, It would be interesting to compare these stats with other social networking sites like Second Life, MySpace Twitter etc. My hunch would be that Facebook is the stickiest.

    • Hey Andrew, if “stickiest” you mean time on site, no it’s not. It’s the weakest – mostly because ppl come in, check newsfeed, wall, inbox then leave. MySpace is a “depth of content site – blogging articles etc”. Second Life has most time onsite/inworld – about an average of 4 hours a day. Again, because you are creating deep content in world – houses and fashion etc.

      If by stickiest you mean repeat visits. Yeah probably. Come in, get your social news, leave .Rinse. Repeat. A million times a day. Twitter even more so as it’s quick hit micro content. Read, tweet, leave.

      All of ‘em have dodgy stats cos active is often “time logged in”. i.e. log in, go to bed, keep the clock ticking over.

      There’s a bunch of stats from hitwise re: MySpace, Facebook, Second Life login times and monthly usage here
      Cheers :P

  5. […] three-in-ten Australians are active Facebook members — that means logging in at least once a month. It seems that the […]

  6. […] just keeps increasing. Here’s the description of a Monthly Active User according to Facebook, as well as the August figures for Australians on Facebook. If you want to […]

  7. […] the way, Facebook measures ACTIVE monthly users, not inactive […]

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