Significant in today’s S-1 filing by Zynga is the fact that the social game developer is revealing its actual unique user count — a piece of data not often shared by developers. By deduplicating the total monthly active user count, Zynga reveals that it has 148 million unique users across all its games and applications as of March 31, 2011.
Overall usage is what we regularly cover in our traffic tracking service, AppData. We draw a nondeduplicated total monthly active user count by adding together the traffic for each app on Facebook, which today totals 279.5 million monthly active users and 57 million daily active users. (Note that these are Zynga’s numbers, and includes mobile users.)
Zynga’s own deduplicated numbers (here defined as monthly unique users) are determined by tracking players that play any of its games from any platform within a 30-day period. Using this calculation, players that play more than one game are counted as a single MUU. Players that play the games on two different platforms (e.g. Facebook and iOS), however, count as two MUUs. The MUU figure reported in the S-1 form is an average gathered at the end of each month for the first five months of 2011, plus the first 15 days of June 2011.
We see here that the 148 million MUU figure is drawn from the end of March 31, 2011, which includes the December 2010 launch of CityVille, but excludes possible MUUs gained in Zynga’s latest releases of Empires & Allies (Facebook), Hanging With Friends (iOS), and CityVille Hometown (iOS). On that date, AppData records Zynga as having 267 million MAU and 59 million DAU.
Interestingly, the average number of MUUs grew by just one in the actual launch month of CityVille even as average DAU and MAU dropped. Zynga notes in its filing that the MUU figure fluctuates on a quarterly basis due to factors outside the developer’s control — such as the early 2010 decision on the part of Facebook to limit the viral channels available to social games. It also cautions that operating metrics may not correlate to revenue trends in the short term, stating that revenues grew every quarter even when DAU, MAU, and MUU didn’t.
For a bit of flavor, consider the following stats based on data collected as of June 1, 2011: Zynga’s total MAU made up 35% of Facebook’s total user base recorded at 687 million. Zynga’s largest game, CityVille, makes up 31% of the developer’s total MAU at 89.9 million, which means that 13% of Facebook users had played the game in the 30 days prior to June 1.
More detailed stats are available via Inside Facebook Gold, our data and research service covering Facebook’s growth across global markets and demographics and with AppData, our traffic tracking service for social games and developers.