Microsoft recently announced that their Microsoft Teams app has 20 million daily active users (DAU), significantly more than Slack. Much doubt is being cast on how Microsoft Teams DAU are counted, however, with accusations that simply automatically launching the app at start-up is being counted as an active user.
LOL and this my good sir is the second problem with SaaS metrics. DAU is great, but how you messaure it is even more important, especially with an app that auto logins upon Windows start.
— Chris Anderson (@christodd10) November 21, 2019
This view is also held by industry analysts.
“We continue to view the MSFT threat as overblown and debate the meaning of ‘active,’ especially with auto-install and auto-startup,” said DA Davidson analysts Rishi Jaluria and Hannah Rudoff.
Microsoft for its part has denied the accusations, with Jared Spataro, a corporate vice president at Microsoft, telling CNBC there are several activities that can cause a customer to be counted as a user, but that automatically launching the app was not one of them.
Like Slack, these included making a call through Teams or starting a chat in the app. Slack said to count as a DAU on their service a user needed to create or consume content in the app during a 24-hour period. This suggest Slack may even more liberal in counting DAU than Microsoft.
Microsoft said they made sure “there’s no double-counting”, with Spataro saying “We feel really great about the way we define daily active users.”