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Twitter closes in on its first-ever profitable quarter

27 October, 2017, 00:37 | Author: Paula Vaughn
  • Are things looking up for Twitter? CEO Jack Dorsey thinks so.                  James Martin  CNET

"These third-party applications used Digits, a software development kit of our now-divested Fabric platform, that allowed third-party applications to send authentication messages via SMS through our systems, which did not relate to activity on the Twitter platform".

Twitter on Thursday revealed that it accidentally overstated its monthly-user figures for last three years but is actually growing now as it had gained almost four million monthly members over the last three months.

Daily active users meanwhile surged 14% on an annual basis.

Twitter said that for the current fourth quarter, it if reaches the high end of its own estimates, it would "likely be GAAP profitable" - referring to a "generally accepted accounting principles" measure of profit.

That was despite a 4% decline in revenue for the period to 590 million dollars (£446 million).

Twitter shares have performed woefully since it made its stock market debut in 2013 but they jumped 15% on Thursday as the company looked on the verge of delivering a profitable bottom line. Despite this, Twitter still refuses to report concrete figures on how many people use its platform every day.

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Analysts on average expected 330.4 million monthly active users worldwide and 69 million in the United States, according to financial data and analytics firm FactSet. Digits users accessed Twitter through third-party apps-they should not have been included as part of the monthly active user count, but they were by mistake.

Naturally, Twitter was more inclined to emphasize the gains posted in its latest quarter, which included a 14 per cent year-over-year increase in daily active users and a quarterly net loss of $21 million (all figures USD), a significant improvement over the company's $103 million quarterly loss during the same period last year. But the expectation is advertisers may boost spending if Twitter is able to kickstart user growth.

Twitter's lackluster user numbers over the past few quarters were actually worse than we first thought.

The company did have to concede that it had miscounted its user figures in the second quarter, which masked a drop in its overall total. Just this month, women around the world threatened to boycott Twitter after it temporarily suspended the account of actor Rose McGowan.

On a call with investors, CEO Jack Dorsey reiterated that Twitter is intently focused on improving safety for users.

Twitter last month began testing tweets as long as 280 characters, double the existing cap, and has announced plans to toughen its rules on online sexual harassment.

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