Twitter beats on earnings, revenue but misses user growth expectations

Twitter reported its third-quarter earnings on Thursday.

Picture by Pixabay/Illustration by PJDM

Twitter’s income and earnings grew sooner than Wall Avenue anticipated within the third quarter, because the US election and the coronavirus pandemic inspired folks to stay glued to the social community. However the social community did not seize new customers as rapidly because it has up to now.

Within the July-September quarter, Twitter posted $936.2 million in income, beating the $777.15 million in income that analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters anticipated. The corporate earned Four cents per share, beating the lack of 10 cents per share Wall Avenue anticipated. 

Twitter’s viewers, which has been rising for the reason that onset of COVID-19 earlier this yr, jumped to 187 million monetizable every day lively customers, up 29% from a yr earlier, however missed analyst expectations of 195.19 million customers. Twitter shares declined 16% in after-hours buying and selling to  $44.00.

CEO Jack Dorsey stated Subjects, a product that permits customers to comply with subjects the best way they comply with particular person accounts, would assist get extra folks concerned in Twitter. “It simply additional … exhibits like all of the conversations which can be attainable on Twitter,” he instructed analysts in a name, including that area of interest subjects tended to do “extraordinarily nicely.”

The earnings report, which got here a day after CEO Jack Dorsey testified at a Senate committee, comes as Twitter, Facebook and different social media corporations discover themselves the goal of complaints forward of the Nov. three election. Republicans have stated the businesses censor conservative voices, an allegation Twitter and Fb deny. Democrats have stated the businesses do not do sufficient to fight hate speech and different objectionable content material.

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The election loomed over Twitter for a lot of the third quarter, which opened inauspiciously for the social media website. In July, hackers took over a number of high-profile accounts, together with these of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and former president Barack Obama, as a part of a cryptocurrency rip-off. The huge hack raised considerations about whether or not Twitter was doing sufficient to safeguard safety forward of the US elections.

Twitter has began ramping up safety for high-profile political customers, similar to members of Congress, journalists and presidential campaigns. The corporate enabled by default a setting that requires these accounts to verify a saved electronic mail and cellphone quantity earlier than their password may be reset.

Making ready for the US election

Twitter has been rolling out new features geared toward combating political data. 

The corporate provides labels to tweets that comprise deceptive details about voting, coronavirus and different subjects. Twitter customers who attempt to retweet a deceptive tweet that is been labeled see a immediate that claims the tweet is “disputed.” The immediate features a “Discover out extra” button directing them to credible data. The corporate, which additionally has an internet hub for election information, has been pointing customers to authoritative sources on the positioning’s homepage and inside search outcomes.

Twitter touted these efforts in its shareholder letter accompanying the earnings launch. “Within the run-up to the 2020 US election, we now have made important adjustments to each product and enforcement to extend context and encourage extra considerate consideration earlier than Tweets are amplified,” the corporate stated.

However Twitter’s efforts to reasonable political content material have additionally sparked scrutiny from lawmakers. This month, the corporate blocked hyperlinks to a New York Post article that contained allegations about Biden’s son Hunter, reigniting complaints that Twitter censors conservative speech. Twitter has repeatedly denied it is politically biased. The corporate stated the article violated its insurance policies towards sharing hacked supplies and personal data. Beneath political stress, the corporate modified its hacked supplies coverage and stopped blocking the hyperlink.

Dorsey is scheduled to testify earlier than the Senate Judiciary Committee in regards to the 2020 election and allegations of anti-conservative bias on Nov. 17.

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Queenie Wong