Facebook Changes Definition of Monthly Active Users

Facebook addressed skepticism about the accuracy of its monthly active user figures by changing the way it defines MAUs.

Facebook addressed skepticism about the accuracy of its monthly active user figures by changing the way it defines MAUs.

The social network said in an email to SocialTimes that it “wanted to provide a cleaner metric,” so starting with its third-quarter-2015 earnings report, it no longer counts what it called “third-party pings,” or people who did not access Facebook itself, but shared content or activity via Facebook Login-integrated websites or applications.

Facebook’s previous definition of MAUs follows:

We define a monthly active user as a registered Facebook user who logged in and visited Facebook through our website or a mobile device, used our Messenger app (and is also a registered Facebook user) or took an action to share content or activity with his or her Facebook friends or connections via a third-party website or application that is integrated with Facebook, in the last 30 days as of the date of measurement.

The revised definition, which was included in the company’s Form 10-Q filing for the third quarter of 2015, follows:

We define a monthly active user as a registered Facebook user who logged in and visited Facebook through our website or a mobile device, or used our Messenger app (and is also a registered Facebook user), in the last 30 days as of the date of measurement.

The new definition didn’t hurt Facebook’s momentum, as the social network reported 1.545 billion MAUs at the end of the third quarter of 2015, up from 1.49 billion in the previous quarter and 1.35 billion in the year-ago period.

Readers: What are your thoughts on Facebook’s revised definition of MAUs?

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