Twitter revenue up 18%, but 6 million less active users than last year

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Twitter has reported growth in revenue but saw monthly active users drop by six million on this time last year, the firm’s latest financial results show.

The social media company’s revenue for the first quarter of 2019 was 787 million dollars (£605 million), up 18% on the same period last year and above analysts’ expectations.

However, monthly active users of the platform were reported as 330 million, compared to 336 million in the same period a year ago. The figures did, however, represent an increase of nine million users on the last three months of 2018.

Social media companies have come under increased pressure to improve their methods for detecting and removing abusive content, something Twitter founder and chief executive Jack Dorsey said the company was continuing to work on.

“We are taking a more proactive approach to reducing abuse and its effects on Twitter,” he said.

“We are reducing the burden on victims and, where possible, taking action before abuse is reported. For example, we are now removing 2.5x more tweets that share personal information and around 38% of abusive tweets that are taken down every week are being proactively detected by machine learning models.

“We’re also continuing our work to make Twitter more conversational via the launch of our public prototype app (twttr), with the end goal of making conversation on Twitter feel faster, more fluid and more fun.”

Twitter chief financial officer Ned Segal said the increase in revenue was proof that the platform remained appealing to advertisers.

“We’re delivering strong results with ad revenue up 18% year-over-year, demonstrating Twitter’s unique value proposition for advertisers as the best place to launch something new or connect with what’s happening,” he said.

“We’ve never been more confident in our strategy and execution, and see a great opportunity to grow our audience and deliver even more value for advertisers.”

Industry analyst Jessica Liu, from Forrester, said Twitter’s results were close to what she had expected.

“Ad revenue for all social networks typically spikes in Q4 due to holiday advertising campaigns and then drops in Q1, so Twitter’s results are in line with that pattern,” she said.

Chris Price