Finance

Twitter revenue beats expectations as users continue to grow

But Twitter showed signs of new life in the first quarter, reporting that average monthly active users rose six per cent from past year to 328 million.

Twitter Inc reported a 6% increase in monthly active users, beating analysts' expectations, after several quarters of stagnating growth.

Twitter has struggled to attract new users since the company went public in 2013. Shares, which had dropped by more than 10% ahead of the earnings release, rose by 13% in pre-market trading. Twitter sought for a sale previous year but failed.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said that while the company expects to "continue to face revenue headwinds", it believes that in executing on its plan in the long term "should result in positive revenue growth over the long term".

Livestreaming, one of Twitter's biggest pushes since past year to attract new users, also jumped in the first quarter, with more than 800 hours of live video across more than 450 events. At most, people already on Twitter are using it more.

User growth "could be your first indicator that revenue could recover some day", said Mark Mahaney, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets.

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Twitter's advertising revenue fell 11% to $474m in the quarter, above the average analyst estimate of $442.7m, according to market research firm FactSet StreetAccount.

However, besides these relative successes, the big question remains: Can Twitter find a way to reverse the slide in its revenue, while it seems that other social networks - Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat - continue to report larger daily user bases. Examples include deploying machine learning to show users more relevant tweets, rolling out product improvements at a faster clip and making it easier to reply to tweets.

But Twitter says it was a result of changes it has made to the way it displays a user's timeline, such as showing tweets a user may have missed, instead of displaying them chronologically.

The 7.8% fall in revenues was mitigated by the news that net losses had fallen to $61.6m (£48m) in the first three months of this year from $79.7m in the same quarter of 2016.

Earnings per share (adjusted): $0.11 vs. $0.01 expected, down from $0.15 in the year-ago period.



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