Twitter fails to add new users in latest quarterly results

Twitter Inc. has much to celebrate when it comes to advertising revenue, but its latest quarterly results also illustrate an inescapable fact: the social media icon is having trouble attracting new users.

In a statement released Thursday, CEO Jack Dorsey emphasized that monthly active usage during the company’s second quarter had increased by five per cent year-over-year and that daily active usage had increased by 12 per cent year-over-year, marking a “third consecutive quarter of double-digit growth.”

Twitter also reported advertising revenue of $489 million (all figures USD), exceeding analyst estimates of $458.1 million, according to Reuters; data licensing and other revenue of $74 million, a 17 per cent increase year-over-year; a year-over-year ad engagement increase of 95 per cent; and a year-over-year cost per engagement decrease of 53 per cent.

“We’re proud that the product improvements we’re making continue to increase their overall contribution to Twitter’s growth,” Dorsey said. “We’re strengthening our execution, which gives us confidence that our product improvements will continue to contribute to meaningful increases in daily active usage.”

An investigation into the company’s first quarter 2017 financial report and comparison with Twitter’s official second-quarter results, however, reveals a more embarrassing fact: the number of monthly active Twitter users remained the same in both: 328 million.

That didn’t escape investors’ notice, Reuters noted, and Twitter’s shares fell accordingly as a result, by more than 10 per cent.

Meanwhile, the company’s official statement acknowledged that its $574 million in total quarterly revenue represented a five per cent decrease year-over-year, and that its net loss of $116 million represented an increase of nine per cent year-over-year. (It also noted that its quarterly expenses decreased by 11 per cent year-over-year, to $612 million.)

Despite the presence of some less-than-rosy numbers, Twitter COO Anthony Noto emphasized the company’s continued efforts to invest in new products and services “that leverage Twitter’s unique value proposition,” and said that its growth in daily active usage was illustrated the company’s success in delivering more value to advertisers than before.

“We’re proud of our strong growth in video, which remained our largest and fastest growing ad format, and we received a positive response from advertisers around the live premium video content debuted at Twitter’s Digital Content NewFronts,” Noto said. “We remain focused on growing revenue by improving the performance and measurement of our revenue products, tapping into new channels of demand and continuing to grow our data licensing revenue.”

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Eric Emin Wood
Eric Emin Wood
Former editor of ITBusiness.ca turned consultant with public relations firm Porter Novelli. When not writing for the tech industry enjoys photography, movies, travelling, the Oxford comma, and will talk your ear off about animation if you give him an opening.

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