The daily active users or DAUs is one of the most-used and important metrics for social media companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snap and Weibo.
The purpose of the DAU metric is to measure users’ engagement and activities on social media platforms.
As most social media companies depend on advertisement revenue, the higher the DAU figure, the more advertisement revenue they will make.
For this reason, most investors will follow closely the DAU figures of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snap and Weibo.
A decline in the DAU figure on a consistent basis will almost always spell disaster for these companies and hence, the stock prices.
Therefore, in this article, we are going to examine and compare the DAU metrics of Facebook, Snap, Twitter and Weibo.
For your information, Pinterest does not specifically publish a DAU figure.
Instead, Pinterest publishes an MAU or monthly active user metric which is shown in this article: Pinterest’s MAU comparison with that of Facebook and Weibo.
That said, only Facebook, Twitter, Snap and Weibo publish a DAU figure during their earnings calls.
So, let’s take a look!
Wordwide or Global DAU
The worldwide or global DAU includes users from all geographical locations.
From the first look at the chart, it is very clear that Facebook has been dominating the social media space all these years given the exceptional DAU figure that the company has been having.
As of 2021 Q2, Facebook has more than 1.9 billion daily active users on its platforms on a global basis, a year-over-year increase of 7%.
While Facebook has been the leading social media company, its worldwide DAU is still on the rise given that it already has captured nearly 2 billion users, about one-third of the world’s total population.
On the other hand, Snap ranks second in terms of worldwide DAU after Facebook.
At only 293 million global daily active users reported in fiscal 2Q 2021, Snap’s DAUs are still way behind that of Facebook.
However, Snap’s DAUs are slightly better than Twitter’s Monetizable DAU (mDAU) which clocked in at 206 million in fiscal 2Q 2021.
Weibo’s DAU clocked in at 225 million in fiscal 4Q 2020, slightly higher than that of Twitter.
While both Snap and Twitter’s global DAUs are much lower than that of Facebook, they are still growing at a breakneck speed, notably at 20% on average on a year-on-year basis in the last 5 years.
In contrast, Weibo’s DAU has grown the least among all social media companies, especially during fiscal 2020 and reported a growth rate of only 1% in fiscal 4Q 2020.
Additionally, most social media companies’ daily active users such as those that came from Facebook, Twitter and Snap were growing particularly well in fiscal 2020, primarily driven by the stay-at-home orders triggered by the pandemic.
Twitter And Weibo’s Worldwide Or Global DAU
The previous chart may not clearly show the DAU figures of Twitter and Weibo.
Therefore, I have created another chart that explicitly shows Twitter and Weibo’s DAU.
As shown in the chart above, Weibo’s DAU figures are slightly above that of Twitter.
While Weibo’s DAU is slightly higher, its DAU growth rate has trailed behind that of Twitter.
The results were more obvious in fiscal 2020 when Weibo’s DAU figures are nearly flat on a year-on-year basis.
In fiscal 2020 4Q, Weibo’s DAU grew only 1.4% year-on-year compared to Twitter’s 26% year-on-year growth rate reported in the same fiscal quarter.
In fiscal Q2 2021, Twitter’s mDAU or monetizable DAU grew 11% year-over-year, way above the single-digit reported by Weibo.
Despite reporting a year-over-year growth rate of 11%, Twitter’s DAU growth rate has significantly slowed down in fiscal 2021 compared to all prior results, suggesting that Twitter’s DAU growth may have also reached a plateau.
North America DAU
Again, with nearly 200 million daily active users, Facebook is the king of social media in North America.
Snap ranks second with about 95 million active users from North America who hopped on its platforms on a daily basis in fiscal 2021 2Q.
Twitter has about 37 million monetizable active daily users from North America in the same fiscal quarter.
Of all social media companies, Facebook was the only one that experienced a decline in its North America daily active users at -1.5% in fiscal 2Q 2021.
In contrast, Snap’s North America DAU grew in high single-digit at 6% year-over-year in fiscal Q2 2021.
Similarly, Twitter has added 1 million users to its U.S. social media platforms in fiscal Q2 2021, representing a year-over-year growth rate of 3%.
Facebook’s slowing DAU growth rate in North America is most likely due to the maturity of the company and the vast users base that the company has garnered from this region.
For perspective, the North American region has a population of around 600 million, and Facebook’s daily active users from this region constitute about one-third of the region’s total population.
In terms of daily active users in Europe, Facebook has garnered even more users from this region than in North America.
With more than 300 million daily active users, Facebook is once again the leading social media platform in Europe.
This is followed by Snap which has a DAU figure of 78 million reported in fiscal 2Q 2022.
Twitter and Weibo do not break down their Europe DAU figures.
Instead, Twitter lumps the data together with users categorized under the international region.
While Snap’s daily active users in Europe are significantly lower than that of Facebook, it is growing at significantly higher growth rates than Facebook.
For example, Facebook’s daily active users growth in Europe was the lowest at only 1% in fiscal 2Q 2021 compared to Snap’s year-on-year growth rate of 10% reported in the same quarter.
In short, Facebook’s Europe DAU growth has been slowing down over the years and the growth rate was the lowest in fiscal 2021.
For your information, Facebook has existed for more than a decade and the 300 million DAUs constitute roughly half of the population in Europe.
Therefore, that should explain the slowing growth of Facebook’s DAUs in Europe as the company is becoming more mature.
Asia Pacific DAU
Snap, Twitter and Weibo do not break down their DAUs figures for the Asia Pacific region.
Instead, Snap and Twitter lumped the data under the International region.
Therefore, I am assuming that the Asia Pacific DAUs for Twitter and Snap may not be substantially significant.
That said, Facebook’s DAUs in the Asia Pacific are even more impressive and the company reported a DAU figure of 788 million in fiscal 2Q 2021, representing a 13% year-on-year rise.
While Facebook’s DAU growth in other regions may have slowed down, it’s not the case in the Asia Pacific.
On average, Facebook’s DAUs growth rate in the Asia Pacific hovers at 10% between fiscal 2016 and fiscal 2020.
The good news is that Facebook’s Asia Pacific growth story may have only just begun.
For perspective, Facebook’s latest DAU figure of 788 million represents less than 20% of the 4.5 billion population in the Asia Pacific region, way less than that of North America and Europe.
As such, Facebook has a much higher headroom for growth in terms of DAU in the Asia Pacific in the future.
Internationally, Facebook is again the leading social media company with daily active users topping 1.7 billion in fiscal 2Q 2021.
On the other hand, Snap and Twitter’s international DAUs came to about 198 million and 169 million, respectively, in the same fiscal quarter.
Facebook’s international DAU is nearly 9X higher than that of Snap and more than 10X higher than that of Twitter.
Most social media companies recorded double-digit growth rates for international DAU, with Snap Inc having the best result at more than 30% YoY growth rate on average in the last few quarters.
In short, Facebook, Snap Inc and Twitter are seeing exceptional user growth outside of U.S. and Canada and the respective growth rates are far higher than that reported in North America.
Based on the daily active users metric, Facebook is the king of social media, having DAU figures that are way above other social media companies such as Twitter, Snap and Weibo.
For example, on a global basis, Facebook’s DAU is nearly 7X higher than that of Snap and more than 9X higher than that of Twitter based on the 2Q 2021 result.
In North America and Europe, Facebook’s DAU is also multiple times higher than Snap and Twitter.
Weibo has a slightly higher DAU compared to Twitter in 4Q 2020.
While Facebook is the leading social media platform of all regions in the world, its DAU growth rates are slowing down, particularly in North America and Europe.
For example, Facebook’s DAU growth in North America averaged less than 5% in the last 5 years.
Similarly, Facebook’s DAU growth in Europe averaged only 5% in the last 5 years.
We are seeing a similar slowdown in DAU growth for Weibo in fiscal 2020. Weibo recorded a YoY growth rate of only 1.4% for its DAU in fiscal 4Q 2020.
In contrast, other social media companies such as Twitter and Snap’s DAUs are growing at a much higher rate than Facebook in North America and Europe, notably at around 10%.
While Facebook’s DAU may have hit a plateau in terms of growth in North America and Europe, it’s not the case in the Asia Pacific.
Facebook’s Asia Pacific and International DAUs still grow healthily at a YoY growth rate that averages around 10%.
References and Credits
1. Financial figures for all companies discussed above were obtained and referenced from their respective financial statements which can be obtained from the following links:
Statistics For Other Stocks
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