In this article
We cover the key differences between live and predicted audience in addition to some helpful tips on understanding exceptions.
Predicted Audience Size
This number is an estimate of how many users during the last 30 days have satisfied your cohort criteria. This number should be used before the cohort is live to predict the cohort size, and for 30 days after a cohort has been set live. It should also be used for time-restricted cohorts, where the time restriction is < 30 days.
Live Audience Size
This is the number of users in this cohort who have been active on your page within the last 30 days. This number should be used for non-time-restricted cohorts after 30 or more days since a cohort has been created, as well as for long-running cohorts with no time constraints.
The above descriptions for predicted vs. live audience sizes are applicable for custom cohorts. For more information about these audience sizes when creating lookalike models, see here.
Tip: Use the Predicted Audience Size Estimator for these exceptions to get a better idea of your audience sizes.
Your cohort has been live for less than 30 days
The Live Audience Size only begins counting users once a cohort is set live, whereas the Predicted Audience Size looks back in history on a user's behaviour even if a cohort doesn't exist yet. Due to this difference, if a cohort has been live for under 30 days, the Predicted Audience Size will be larger, as the Live Audience Size hasn't fully populated yet.
Your cohort has a time constraint that is less than 30 days
For example, if your cohort includes a time constraint like "within the last 7 days", this will be reflected in the Predicted Audience Size Estimator but not in the Live Audience Size. Due to this, the Live Audience Size will show you the number of users who have been in the cohort over the last 30 days, and the Predicted Audience Size Estimator will show you the users who have fallen into the cohort in the last 7 days. The Live Audience Size can be significantly larger in this case.
You have a long-running cohort with no time constraints
For example, if your cohort is "users who have read a football article" with no time restrictions, the Predicted Audience Size will return the number of users who have read a football article in the last 30 days.
The Live Audience size will return the number of users who have ever read a football article and were active on your site in the last 30 days.
You have changed the definition of your cohort recently
If you have recently changed the definition of your cohort, this change will be reflected in the Predicted Audience Size, but not in the Live Audience Size.
Live Audience size will include the users who have fallen into the cohort under your previous cohort definition.
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