Twitter hails $1 billion quarterly sales milestone but earnings slip: reaction

Social media platform Twitter has achieved $1 billion in quarterly revenue for the first time.

Twitter now has some 152 million users. Picture: John Devlin

Chief executive Jack Dorsey said the firm was “learning faster” and “prioritising better” as he revealed that total revenue between October and December hit $1.01bn (£778.3 million), an increase of 11 per cent on the same period a year earlier.

Twitter now has 152 million users – which it defines as monetisable daily active users – a jump of seven million compared with the previous quarter.

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Despite that, quarterly net earnings came in at $118.8m against last year’s haul of $255.3m.

The firm claims it continued to proactively limit the visibility of unhealthy content, resulting in a 27 per cent decline in bystander reports on tweets that violate its terms of service.

The company reached the “new milestone” for revenue in a three-month period, chief financial officer Ned Segal said, “reflecting steady progress on revenue product and solid performance across most major geographies”.

Ben Marder, senior lecturer in marketing at the University of Edinburgh Business School, said: "Twitter’s results have surpassed expectations with a strong Q4 2019 performance.

"The results appeared to be based on strong user numbers signalling that banning political ads has been seen as an effective peace offering, although Twitter has gained a long rap sheet in crimes against politics, in particular fanning the flames or national divisions.

"As disgruntled sheriffs (i.e. governments) and mobs (i.e. users) descend on social media giants with their handcuffs and pitch forks, investors appear to have seen past the furore and continued to have faith in the social media giant."