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Why Twitter does not reveal daily active user numbers and why experts are crying foul

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Twitter breaks out exact monthly active user numbers but not daily user numbers.

Twitter Inc. does not break out its daily active user numbers in its financial reports, but analysts and accountants say the company’s reasoning is fishy. In an exchange with the Securities and Exchange Commission in June, TwitterTWTR, -0.77% said that it uses percentage changes rather than exact numbers for daily active users, or DAUs, numbers, because those numbers are a “performance indicator” that can only be related to its number of monthly active users. Simply put, Twitter is saying the year-over-year percentage changes in daily active users show how engaged or unengaged the company’s monthly active users have become. But analysts and accounting experts say the company needs to disclose the exact DAU numbers, as they are a key indicator for growth at the company, particularly as monthly active user growth lags, and as the exact DAU numbers are likely reported to management. “It’s like an investor trying to put together a puzzle and the company is trying to withhold the last piece of the puzzle,” said Tom Selling, publisher of The Accounting Onion.

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