Twitter crack down on fake followers drops Q2 user base
Twitter showed 24% revenue increase Y-o-Y but the number of users fell to 335mn in the Q2 of the year, down one million
The social media messaging platform, Twitter’s shares have closed down more than 20 per cent after a reported fall in active users. Twitter posted revenue of $711mn and earnings of 17 cents per share for the three months ending June 30 — matching analyst estimates for earnings and running past sales estimates of $696.2mn, according to Yahoo Finance. Revenue increased 24 percent year-over-year.
While the social media giant’s sales were growing, its user base was decreasing. The company reported 335 million monthly active users (MAUs) during Q2, which is a drop of 1 million MAUs from last quarter. Twitter pointed to “prioritizing the health of the platform,” as well as new EU privacy laws as reasons for its decline. During the second quarter Twitter deleted many fake accounts, this reflected in the results, according to Chief Executive, Jack Dorsey. The company said it expected user numbers to continue to fall in the third quarter.
The slide to just under $35 a share came despite Twitter reporting record quarterly profits.
"Our second-quarter results reflect the work we're doing to ensure more people get value from Twitter every day. We want people to feel safe freely expressing themselves and have launched new tools to address problem behaviours that distort and distract from the public conversation," said Dorsey.
Several countries have put pressure on tech firms to be stricter over abusive content and misinformation, or fake news, as well as political influence and protection of personal data. Twitter recently removed or suspended a number of accounts.
During the World Cup, Dorsey said, the number of daily users was up 11 per cent from a year earlier, saying this showed the firm's measures were turning the service into a daily utility. The World Cup had led to 115 billion user impressions and contributed $30m in revenues over the quarter, he added.
Dorsey said basing user engagement around sporting tournaments, elections and smaller local events was key for Twitter's future success, and pointed to a new video clipping tool as one way the social media platform was trying to increase time spent on the platform. "Our strength is conversation. Events are happening all the time and it's our job to make users choose Twitter to engage with them,” said Dorsey.
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