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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Comments (7)

7 responses to “Good News, Bad News in Twitter’s Earnings”

  1. Daekar

    I tried Twitter. I simply do not understand the attraction to this product, and the fact that it is even as popular as it is boggles my mind. It is, and has been for literally years, filled with utterly worthless and inconsequential trash. It's worse in every possible way than Reddit, for instance. The "firehose" is an interesting gimmick, but in such a format offers practically zero value to the user when compared to alternatives.

    Let it die.

  2. AnOldAmigaUser

    I guess hate groups have a larger advertising budget than I thought.

  3. locust infested orchard inc

    Quote by Paul Thurrott, "...Twitter has become a cesspool of hate, ignorance, and threats of violence. It’s no wonder this network is losing users."

    I couldn't have said it better myself.

    That said, I do use Twitter to follow the often bombastic foreign policy of our beloved President.

  4. johnbaxter

    The atmosphere on Twitter was much different when I signed up (November 2007) than it seems to be now. I say "seems to be" because I don't look at the whole Twitter. I created a small list, and look at that. (I did the list initially when I started on the Windows Insider program (since left)). This way works for me...I see things I want to see (the local PUD tweeting about outages, etc, the Hood Canal Bridge openings being announced, etc, but I don't see the main timeline.

    Never joined Facebook, Instagram, et al.

  5. gregsedwards

    That’s too bad, because of the online platforms I’m find Twitter to be one of the best implementations. The platform clean, lightweight, and functional, without a lot of the kitsch and feature bloat that plagues other platforms such as Facebook and Snapchat. I really haven’t experienced a lot of the hateful speech and fake news personally, but I absolutely acknowledge that it exists and it’s a problem. I think some of it can be solved by being more selective about who you follow, and how you interact with them. It’ll be interesting to see how Twitter and other companies like Microsoft react to this trend.

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