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The one bit of good news in Twitter’s user numbers

You have to look past the tanking stock, but here is the good news from today’s Twitter earnings.

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This post has been updated.

Twitter investors are having another tough day.

After reporting second-quarter earnings this morning (pdf), a report in which Twitter revealed its monthly active user base didn’t grow at all over the past three months, the stock is down more than 13 percent amid fears that Twitter’s growth is doomed.

And that’s probably fair. Twitter’s overall user growth certainly looks bad.

But if you’re looking for some good news — and you’re willing to look hard to see past the slumping stock price — here’s what you’ll find: Twitter’s overall audience isn’t growing, but the people who already use Twitter are using it more frequently.

Specifically, Twitter’s daily active user base is growing. Twitter won’t say how many it has, but it says daily users grew 12 percent year over year in the second quarter, whereas monthly users only grew 5 percent year over year.

If Twitter isn’t going to grow its overall audience, at least it’s growing the number of people who come back daily, which means more ad impressions (and suggests happier — or at least more addicted — users). Twitter spent a good portion of its earnings call today trying to sell that mindset to investors, and its former CEO Dick Costolo made a similar point during a CNBC appearance.

Of course, simply increasing DAUs without increasing MAUs means that eventually Twitter will hit a ceiling. And it’s not the super-high ceiling that many thought Twitter could amass a couple of years ago. It’s become obvious that Twitter is not for everybody. Twitter will never be Facebook, and that is clearer than ever.

But if Twitter can become a daily destination for a couple hundred million people, it’ll have a place somewhere. And that, if you are looking for it, is good news.

Update: This post has been updated to reflect Twitter’s new comments on estimates of its daily active user base, which seem to be based on outdated assumptions. We’ve removed the specific estimate from this post, but you can read more about it here.


This article originally appeared on Recode.net.