Pendo uses the Monthly Active Users (MAU) metric to monitor the number of unique, active visitors within the last 30 calendar days. This metric indicates the size of your active user base and plays a key role in determining the appropriate Pendo plan that best accommodates your user base.
If you're currently subscribed to our Pendo Free plan, your subscription comes with a MAU limit of 500. If you have multiple apps in your subscription, unique visitors are calculated individually for each app. For example, if your subscription has two apps and a single visitor engages with both of those apps in a 30-day period, it would count as 2 MAU.
This article explains how exceeding your MAU limit impacts your account so that you can continue to interpret your data with confidence.
Tip: To check your current MAU count and limit, select Upgrade from the left-hand navigation menu.
Impact of exceeding MAU limit
Once you exceed the 500 MAU limit, you lose access to certain functionalities until you upgrade to a paid subscription that supports your MAU count. Specifically, you can't create new guides, NPS surveys, or segments, and your view of report and dashboard data provide insights based on generalized trends obtained from a daily random sampling of 500 visitors. You can still edit existing guides, NPS surveys, and segments.
Since Pendo calculates MAU on a rolling 30-day basis, it's possible your access could fluctuate. For example, if you have 501 MAU on June 1, you won't be able to create new segments, guides, and NPS surveys. However, if you have 499 MAU on June 2, you can create new segments, guides, and NPS surveys again.
If you encounter frequent fluctuations in access, we recommend upgrading to a paid plan to avoid disruptions in your Pendo experience. To get started with your upgrade, see our plan comparison page.
Daily random sampling
If you exceed your free plan's MAU threshold, Pendo checks your MAU count and selects a random sample of visitors once daily to help provide general insights and trends.
Aggregate data is a summarized view of usage information, combining data from multiple visitors to show general patterns. Visitors who aren't part of the random sample that day won't have their data included in these aggregate summaries. This affects the data you see on pages that are specific to visitors, such as the Visitors page, Visitor Details page, visitor reports, poll responses, and any other instances where data is combined. The same applies for accounts.
While you won't see aggregate data for visitors outside of the random sample, you can still view detailed information for a specific visitor by searching on the Visitors page to access the Visitor Details page. However, if a visitor isn't part of the random sample on a particular day, their aggregate data appears blank in the summaries.
This can also cause potential inconsistencies when comparing segments and reports. The list of eligible visitors always shows the full visitor list, regardless of your MAU threshold, to provide accuracy and clarity when targeting in-app guides. However, all reports and analytics only show visitors included in that day's random sample.
Consider the example in the screenshots below. On this particular day, all nine visitors within the segment didn't make it in that day's random sample. The segment list shows nine eligible visitors, and the visitor report shows zero visitors since this is considered aggregate data.
This daily random sampling helps ensure that you're always seeing the most reliable trends. However, to get the most reliable view of data, we recommend working with your full data set by upgrading to a paid plan that meets your MAU needs.
Total versus unique attempts
Once you exceed your MAU limit, data calculations might show numbers higher than 500. This is likely because the data considers total attempts or interactions instead of unique visitors. Total attempts count every interaction a visitor makes, whereas unique visitors only count the latest interaction per visitor.
Consider the following example where three visitors interact with the same Feature in a specific timeframe:
- Visitor A interacts with a specific Feature 5 times.
- Visitor B interacts with the same Feature 10 times.
- Visitor C interacts with that Feature 20 times.
- These visits count as 35 total attempts by 3 unique visitors.
- However, if visitor C is excluded from the daily random sample, this would change to 15 total interactions by 2 unique visitors.
While our path reporting tool calculates total attempts, our Monthly Visitors chart calculates unique visitors. You can configure funnels and many dashboard widgets to show either total attempts (most often "views" or "clicks") or unique visitors or accounts.
Note: You could also see data calculations for numbers higher than 500 after you exceed your MAU limit due to a newly active, existing visitor becoming active after the random sample was already determined. In this case, the newly active visitor wouldn't be considered for exclusion until the next sampling occurs.
If your Free subscription exceeds the MAU limit, aggregate data is presented as generalized trends based on a sampling of unique visitors equal to your MAU limit. We randomize this sample daily to ensure the most accurate trendlines.
For example, if the limit is 500 MAU and your subscription has a total of 10,000 MAU, only 500 visitors' data is displayed. Here's what the difference could look like in the Daily Active Users chart:
- With 500 MAU limit
- Without MAU limit
Once you exceed your MAU limit and can only see aggregate data, this impacts the following:
- All behavioral reporting tools: retention, funnels, paths, Data Explorer
- Guide metrics
- NPS metrics
- Visitors and Accounts pages
- Visitor and account reports
- Visitor and Account Details pages
- Dashboard widgets, excluding Guide Overview, Page Overview, and Feature Overview
The more you go over your MAU limit, the less accurate your data is.
Even when exceeding the MAU limit, certain data and metrics remain unaffected to ensure crucial insights and functionalities continue to operate without interruption. The following data is considered functional, rather than aggregate, and is always correct, regardless of how much you've exceeded your MAU limit:
- List of eligible visitors when viewing segments. To ensure clarity when targeting guides, segments always show the correct number of visitors, regardless of whether they're included in that day's random sample.
- List of users applied to a guide.
- Visitor guide eligibility. All visitors are still able to view and interact with guides if you're over your MAU limit. However, Guide Events from visitors excluded from that day's random sample are filtered out of the metrics.
Note: If you're interested in increasing your MAU limit, see our plan comparison page to upgrade to a paid plan. When you upgrade to a paid plan, you keep all of the event data collected since you installed Pendo on your application and all configurations in your subscription.