How Facebook Calculates Active Users For Pages

After covering how to measure Facebook page engagement, we received inquiries asking us about how Facebook measures daily, weekly, and monthly active users.

So read on for the answers to everything you’ve been wondering about how these measurements work.

For applications and pages, the definition of “active users” differs. Facebook explains the difference between the two in the company’s official developer documentation:

For apps, people are considered active users if they have visited the app Canvas page; viewed the app on a page profile tab; visited an external website when logged into that site with their Facebook account; or had the Facebook API called on their behalf with an active user session. For pages, people are considered active users if they have visited the page; viewed a post by the page; or interacted with a post.

The Big Difference

As you might have noticed, Facebook pages have a somewhat inflated “active users” number. The reason is that anybody who even “viewed a post by the page” will count as an active user. That means “active users” represents those individuals who have had your page content appear in their feed. I would argue that a more accurate count of active users would be those who commented on a post, liked a post, and clicked a link that you published.

While this is something that could be debated, the inflated number helps further support the argument that Facebook pages are a critical component of any company’s marketing efforts. At AllFacebook we’ve actually experienced dramatic benefits from our Facebook page, in that it’s the primary location for distributing our posts. Without the page we couldn’t have the reach that we have today.

However, I tend to take the total active users number with a grain of salt. More important is measuring the average number of comments and likes on each post that you publish. Active users will then reflect the increased reach that you have as a result of the increased engagement. For a more detailed overview of Facebook insights, check out our guide on measuring Facebook page engagement.

Readers, what do you think about the ways that Facebook measures users?

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