The daily active users or DAUs is one of the most-used and important metrics for social media companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Snap.
The purpose of the DAUs metric is to measure users’ engagement and activities on their platforms.
As most social media companies depend on advertisement revenue, the higher the daily active users or the DAUs figure, the more money they will make.
While most social media companies rely on the daily active user metrics to measure the health of their businesses, there is not a set of industry standards to dictate how the measurement should be done.
In this aspect, each social media companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Snap seem to have their own definition of the daily active user metric.
For example, Facebook’s methodology of measuring its DAUs is different from that of Twitter, Pinterest and Snap.
Therefore, that makes the comparison of the DAU metrics among social media companies rather difficult or maybe even meaningless in some instances.
While that is not to say that we can’t do a comparison of the DAUs among social media companies, it’s just that the comparison will not be on an apple to apple basis.
In this article, we are going to do just that by comparing the DAUs of Facebook, Snap and Twitter.
For your information, Pinterest does not specifically publish a DAU figure.
So, let’s take a look!
Wordwide or Global DAUs
The worldwide or global DAUs metric 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 DAUs figure that the company has been having.
As of 2020 Q4, Facebook has more than 1.8 billion daily active users on its platforms, a year-over-year increase of 11%.
Not only that, but Facebook’s worldwide DAUs also have been on a rise over the last 5 years, with fiscal 2020 being the best when daily active users reached the highest on its platforms on a global scale.
On the other hand, Snap ranks second in terms of worldwide DAUs after Facebook.
At only 265 million global daily active users reported in fiscal 4Q 2020, Snap’s DAUs are still way behind that of Facebook.
However, Snap’s DAUs are slightly better than Twitter’s Monetizable DAUs which clocked in at 192 million in fiscal 4Q 2020.
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.
Additionally, all social media companies’ daily active users were growing particularly well in fiscal 2020, possibly due to the stay-at-home orders driven primarily by the pandemic.
North America DAUs
Again, with nearly 200 million daily active users, Facebook is the king of social media in North America.
Snap ranks second with about 92 million active users from North America who hopped on its platforms on a daily basis in fiscal 2020 4Q.
Twitter has about 37 million monetizable active daily users from North America in the same fiscal quarter.
Of all social media companies, Facebook’s North America daily active users grew the slowest at only 2.6% in fiscal 4Q 2020.
In contrast, Twitter’s North America active daily users grew the highest at 19% in the same fiscal quarter.
Snap’s North America daily active users grew in high single-digit year over year in fiscal Q4 2020.
Facebook’s slowing daily active users growth 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 DAUs figure of 74 million reported in fiscal 4Q 2020.
Twitter does not break down its Europe DAUs figure. Instead, it 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 nearly twice the rate of Facebook.
Again, Facebook’s daily active users growth in Europe is one of the lowest at only 5% in fiscal 2020 and even less prior to fiscal 2020.
For your information, Facebook has existed for more than a decade and the latest 300 million DAUs constitute roughly half of the population in Europe.
Therefore, that should explain the slowing growth of Facebook’s DAUs in Europe.
Asia Pacific DAUs
Snap and Twitter do not break down their DAUs figures for the Asia Pacific.
Instead, they 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 astounding and the company reported a DAUs figure of 744 million in fiscal 4Q 2020, representing a 16% year-on-year increase.
While Facebook’s DAUs 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.
For perspective, Facebook’s latest DAUs figure of 744 million represents only 15% of the 4.5 billion population in the Asia Pacific region, way less than North America and Europe.
As such, Facebook should have more headroom for growth in terms of advertising revenue in the Asia Pacific.
Based on the daily active users metric, Facebook is the king of social media, having DAUs that are way above other social media companies such as Twitter and Snap.
For example, on a global basis, Facebook’s DAUs are 7X higher than that of Snap and nearly 10X higher than that of Twitter based on the 4Q 2020 result.
In North America and Europe, Facebook’s DAUs are also multiple times higher than Snap and Twitter.
While Facebook is the leading social media platform of all regions in the world, its DAUs growth rates are slowing down.
For example, Facebook’s DAUs growth in North America averaged less than 5% in the last 5 years.
Similarly, Facebook’s DAUs growth in Europe averaged only 5% in the last 5 years
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 DAUs 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 DAUs still reported a year-on-year growth rate that averages around 10% in the Asia Pacific.
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:
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