Good News, Bad News in Twitter’s Earnings

Posted on October 25, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud, Social with 7 Comments

Twitter announced last night that it has posted revenues of $758 million in the most recent quarter, a gain of 29 percent. But the social network’s monthly average user (MAU) count has fallen, to 326 million. And Twitter says that number will continue to fall.

“Our third quarter results reflect our success with advertisers, delivering … better than expected growth across most products and geographies,” Twitter CFO Ned Segal said in a prepared statement. “We are demonstrating Twitter’s unique value proposition for advertisers through innovative ad formats, better relevance and continued improvement in ROI. Advertisers are choosing Twitter to reach the most valuable audience when they are most receptive.”

Twitter’s audience may be valuable, but it isn’t particularly big. By comparison, Facebook has over 2.2 billion MAUs, and Instagram is over 1 billion. As bad, Twitter’s user base is falling: In the same quarter a year ago, Twitter had 330 million MAUs. It also had 335 million MAUs in the previous quarter.

Twitter says the shortfall is due to several factors, including “GDPR, decisions [the firm] made to prioritize the health of the platform and not move to paid SMS carrier relationships in certain markets, as well as a product change that reduced automated usage and a technical issue that temporarily reduced the number of notifications sent.”

Like other social networks, Twitter has struggled with automated and abusive accounts, many state-sponsored, on its network. But Twitter seems more inept than its competitors when it comes to purging these accounts. There are many reports of users complaining to Twitter about abuse only to be told that the offending accounts are not violating its policies.

Thanks to the lack of policing, Twitter has become a cesspool of hate, ignorance, and threats of violence. It’s no wonder this network is losing users.


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