Why Daily Active Users (DAU) Is So Important For App Developers

Nov 22, 2017
By: Marissa Camilli

Millions of apps are downloaded, but only a handful survive past one or two uses. Because of this, the importance of the number of times an app has been downloaded has diminished. While it is a measure of success for the marketing team, it doesn’t necessarily mean the app itself is worth keeping.

Daily Active Users (DAU) measures how many people use your app daily. This relatively new measurement provides you with the feedback you need to develop apps that people download and use regularly. You might say that it’s a measure of how much you got right with your app.

What does it mean if my app gets downloaded twenty times a day but only has a couple hundred DAUs?

Retention rates vary by application type, but you can still glean valuable information by comparing the download rates of the most popular apps in your category with their DAUs. If you crunch the numbers and find out your app is substantially below the DAUs of the most popular apps in your category, it may indicate that you need to closely reexamine your app to identify areas for improvement, then make them.

Generally speaking, apps that are regularly maintained and updated tend to have a higher DAU than those that are infrequently updated.

DAUs measure how relevant and useful your app is to its users. Depending on category, some mid-size apps (50-100k downloads) see a DAU as high as 30-40%. DAUs that high indicate an app that’s getting virtually everything right in terms of relevance, usefulness, and UX.

Update your app on a regular basis to keep it fresh for your users. Incrementally add new features and functionality to drive value, and you will have an app that not only gets downloaded, but builds up a high DAU.   

Marissa Camilli
By Marissa Camilli
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