Twitter Hides its Actual ‘Daily Active User’ Numbers

August 2, 2017 - Written By Alexander Maxham

Twitter is in a bit of a tough spot as of late. The company has had trouble growing its platform, and this past quarter it actually reported 0% growth, which is a big issue for the company and its investors. Now, some light is being shed on another number that Twitter holds close, and that is its Daily Active User or DAU number. Twitter thinks that this is more important than a Monthly Active User number, as these are the number of users using the service daily instead of just once a month. However, Twitter only reports a percentage here, and not the actual number. Twitter has said that the number is “competitively sensitive”.

Now Twitter did give some more information about why it only gives a percentage and stated that “the absolute number of DAUs is less important than the percentage change in DAUs.” The company’s reasoning for that is the fact that DAU is the key factor in engagement. And if engagement is increasing, then the percentage will go up. If it’s not, then the percentage will go down. Twitter also focuses on the percentage as it makes it easier to compare Twitter with its competitors – although most competitors don’t release its daily active users, and only monthly active users. Making it more of an apples to apples comparison instead of an apples to oranges comparison.

Twitter has its own reasons for reporting Daily Active Users in the way that it does. Now that may not be what most investors, or people looking to invest in Twitter want to hear, but that’s the way it goes. Seeing as comparing Twitter’s DAUs to Facebook’s would be largely unfair, especially since Facebook does measure those users much differently than Twitter does, and actually inflates that number a bit. Which is to be expected, not everyone measures that the same way. Twitter does still have a growth problem on its hands though, and it’s something that the company really needs to focus on, especially if it wants to bring in new advertisers and investors, to grow its revenue and stay at the top as one of the biggest social media platforms.