Audience export data expectations

This guide explains important information about the data you see in audience exports.

Data freshness

Audience export data freshness is how long it takes Google Analytics to collect events, process events, and then update user membership in your audiences. For example, if that process takes 24 hours, then the audience export data freshness is 24 hours. For more information, see Data Freshness.

Audience export data freshness averages 24 hours. You might not see users in audience exports for events that took place less than 24 hours ago. For example, if a user completes their first purchase, and then 7 hours later you create an audience export for the "Purchasers" audience, you likely won't see the user in that audience export. After 14 to 38 hours, it's likely you will see the user in new audience exports.

Audience membership data is updated once per day, typically during daylight hours in the property's timezone. This means that audience exports for the same audience at 9 AM and 11 AM will likely return the same data, but a new audience export later that day might include new data, if your membership data is updated in the afternoon.

Audience exports are snapshots

Audience exports are lists of users in an audience at a specific point in time. When you create an audince export with the Data API, that audience export represents a snapshot of the users in that audience about 24 hours before you made that request. Audience exports from the Data API are static, so you must create a new audience export to see the most recent data for that audience.

In contrast, for Google Ads remarketing, Google Analytics automatically and continuously exports users in audiences to Google Ads, so you don't need to manually request new audience data.

Data expiration

Audience exports expire after 72 hours. New users might enter and exit an audience each day. To view the latest users in an audience, you need to create new audience exports each day.

User limits

When the size of an audience or property exceeds a user limit, audience exports return representative samples of the audience.

These limits depend on your property type, for example a standard or 360 property, and are enforced in each audience export request.

Returned users are users in the requested audience, and considered users are users that may or may not be a member of the audience.

Limit Type Standard Property Limits Analytics 360 Property Limits
Max returned users 2 million 200 million
Max considered users 10 million 1 billion

Reporting identity consistency

Reporting identity decides how users are deduplicated in reports.

Audience exports always identify users by user ID, then device ID. This means that reports on an audience can show more users than the audience export returns. For example, if the reporting identity is "Device based", then reports don't deduplicate based on user ID, but audience exports do.

Backfill consistency

When you create an audience in Google Analytics and turn on Google Ads remarketing, Google Analytics backfills that audience in Google Ads with recently added members. However, Google Analytics reports and audience exports don't contain backfilled audience memberships. A user must log an event after the audience is created for Google Analytics reports and audience exports to show the user in that audience.

For example, if a user logs a purchase event on June 20th, and you create a "Purchasers" audience on June 21st, then you likely need to wait until June 22nd to see that user in new audience exports. However, that user will only be in the audience export if the user has logged any event on June 21st.