Markets

Twitter Loses Users, But Will Advertisers Follow?

Twitter Loses Users, But Will Advertisers Follow?

The number of monthly Twitter users dropped from 336 million to 335 million, according to the company's latest financial release.

"We will continue to work hard to improve the health of the platform, providing updates on our progress at least quarterly, and prioritizing health efforts regardless of the near-term impact on metrics, as we believe the best driver of long-term growth of Twitter as a daily utility is a healthy conversation", Twitter said in its letter to shareholders.

Twitter's user woes are similar to those of Facebook Inc., which also has been plagued by manipulation, robot accounts and unrest about the growing influence of social media in the culture. While Twitter maintains that most of these accounts were dormant and thus not counted in the monthly user figure, the company also warned that its cleanup efforts could affect its counted user base - without giving specific numbers.

The firm has been under pressure to suspend users for hate speech, abusive content and the spread of misinformation.

Revenue: $711 million, up 24% year on year and beating expectations of $696 million. It doesn't disclose DAUs but said those remain well below 50% of monthly active users. It was the company's third profit in a row and the third it has ever posted. That sent Twitter shares spiraling lower by as much as 19%.

The earnings report was Twitter's first since The Washington Post reported three weeks ago that the company was suspending accounts at a rate of roughly a million a day after implementing new tools for detecting accounts that might be involved in disinformation or other activity, such as spam, not permitted on the platform.

Twitter said it expects monthly active users to decline in Q3, as well.

The user outlook came as Twitter reported higher-than-expected revenue thanks to the FIFA World Cup, video ads and booming global ad revenue.

Shooting in downtown Toronto leaves nine people, shooter dead
The man's death is being probed by Ontario's Special Investigations Unit, which looks into all deadly police-involved incidents. Reports said that the incident took place in Greektown district where a gunman opened fire at several people.

As part of these efforts, Twitter said that as of May, its systems identified and challenged more than 9 million potentially spammy or automated accounts per week, up from 6.4 million in December 2017.

Twitter saw fastest revenue growth in global markets, which now account for half its revenue.

Twitter's user numbers overshadowed the company's impressive earnings.

The company saw strong gains in advertising, with revenue up 23% year on year to $US601 million.

The earnings call did not touch on a new looming issue for the company, which President Donald Trump tweeted about Thursday.

Twitter said it lost some users due to the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation in Europe in May but it did not note any revenue impact. In Q2, daily active users increased 11% year-over-year, with double-digit growth in five out of its top 10 global markets.

Sales, at $711m, were up 24% compared with previous year and above analysts estimates.

In April, Twitter said it inked more than 30 deals for live and original programming, including with Walt Disney Co (DIS.N) for a Twitter-only version of ESPN's SportsCenter.


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