Twitter growth looks much better now that monthly usage figures are being hidden

Twitter added 5 million daily users last quarter, making the company a total of 139 million. That is the highest number since Twitter started reporting daily usage statistics earlier this year and it represents the highest annual growth in nearly two years.

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While it's a great sign for Twitter – suggesting that recent changes to the platform have been successful in retaining and attracting users – that's also the story that Twitter wants us to take away. From this quarter on Twitter will no longer announce how much monthly users who have had it, and that number has spent a whole year in decline, but only grew again in the first few months of this year.

Twitter said daily usage rates are "the best ways to measure our success." count differently. Twitter says the difference is that it only counts daily users who see advertisements, while other companies count users who don't see it.

What that means is that Twitter doesn't want to be 139 million daily users compared to Snapchat's 203 million daily users, Instagram stories 500 million daily users, Facebook stories 500 million daily users or Facebook 1.59 billion daily users. Twitter does not necessarily compete directly with one of these services, but in comparison it shows how much smaller the daily use of Twitter is.

Twitter has fought a large part of the past year against declining use and has removed bots, spam and other bad actors from its platform. That cleanup resulted in much less use because bots were removed, but Twitter hoped that it would ultimately lead to a better experience and more users by improving its platform. Because it has changed usage statistics, it is hard to say how much that has actually played out. But, according to the count that Twitter is now showing us, usage is growing again.

Bots and other fake accounts can still represent nearly five percent of the daily number of Twitter users, the company warned. So his task to clean up the spammers' platform is not completely finished yet. But Twitter suggests that his task has worked and that reports of spam and suspicious behavior have fallen by 18 percent.

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