With the United States political class glued to their Twitter feeds – or just one Twitter feed in particular – it should be a great time for the social network in the U.S. of A.
But after getting an election bump last quarter that many analysts tied to President Donald Trump, the social network is actually losing American users – looking at its monthly active users. Twitter reported that it had an average of 68 million monthly active users in the U.S. this past quarter, down from 70 million in the previous quarter.
Overall, Twitter just isn’t growing as much as investors would like to see. That’s the main takeaway from the social network’s latest quarterly earnings report Thursday, in which the company reported the same number of users worldwide as it had three months ago.
Twitter’s stock dropped by as much as 13 percent Thursday morning to $17.03 a share.
Twitter executives, including chief executive Jack Dorsey and chief financial officer Anthony Noto, brushed off concern about user growth, saying that the firm is most interested in its daily active users – which it believes offers a more detailed picture of how people use its site. In daily active users, Twitter grew 9 percent in the United States, Noto said, adding that the company continues to see “stable growth rates.”
While the company didn’t offer hard numbers, Twitter reported that its daily active user growth overall was up 12 percent over the same period last year. That’s still lower than the 14 percent it reported last quarter.The company suggested that the flat growth was due to “seasonal” effects, but didn’t elaborate on what that meant.
The results are particularly glaring after Facebook reported very strong earnings Wednesday. Analysts had worried about stagnating user growth for Facebook as well, but the network still managed to grow its daily active users to 1.32 billion daily active users – up from 1.28 billion the previous quarter.
There were some bright spots, however, in Twitter’s earnings. The company reported stronger-than-expected revenue of $574 million. Analysts had projected $568 million. Earnings per share also exceeded expectations, coming in at 12 cents per share vs. a projected 5 cents per share.
Advertising revenue, however, also continued to fall, down 8 percent from the same period last year to $489 million. That’s despite engagement with ads – the amount people view or click on them – growing 95 percent.
(c) 2017, The Washington Post · Hayley Tsukayama