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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.