January 16, 2018

Twitter Restates User Count, Wrongly Attributed 3rd-Party App Audiences

28 October 2017, 01:10 | Francis Delgado

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. Kimberly White Getty Images for Vanity Fair

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.   Kimberly White  Getty Images for Vanity Fair

Worryingly for the company, its US advertising revenues fell 11% compared to the same period a year ago, although this was more than offset by booming global advertising advertising revenues, which grew by 6%.

The San Francisco-based social media giant reported Q3 earnings per share (EPS) of $0.10, which was $0.04 better than the Wall Street consensus estimate of $0.06.

Despite the drop in users, Twitter stock jumped as much as 11% in premarket trading Thursday after the company beat expectations on revenue and gave higher-than-expected guidance for the fourth quarter. The company has seen monthly active user figures increase, arresting the slide that it had to report across the summer. But that was after the company restated MAUs slightly because it incorrectly included users of third-party apps - for example, it reduced the monthly users count by 2 million for Q2 2017.

Twitter Inc. has admitted to incorrectly reporting its single most important metric, monthly active users (MAUs), for almost three years.

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Twitter said that it had discovered monthly user numbers had wrongly included numbers from third-party applications that used a software-development program Digits.

"This quarter we made progress in three key areas of our business: we grew our audience and engagement, made progress on a return to revenue growth, and achieved record profitability", said Jack Dorsey, Twitter's CEO. Users of those third-party applications were able to send authenticated messages via SMS through Twitter's systems, but that didn't relate to activity on the Twitter platform, according to the company's explanation. The company said it didn't have exact data for periods before the fourth quarter of 2016, but that those losses would be the same or smaller than the four quarters reported. Analysts on average had expected 330.4 million monthly active users worldwide and 69 million in the USA, according to financial data and analytics firm FactSet.

Twitter has also been criticised for not taking enough efforts to stop abuse and harassment on the platform.

Twitter still won't reveal exactly how many daily users it has.

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