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Twitter losses dip, adds 4M users in Q3

IANS
28th Oct 2017
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Twitter has announced that it has significantly cut down its losses and added nearly four million users in the third quarter of 2017 that ended in September.

The microblogging site reported a revenue of $590 million, down from $616 million this time last year -- a four per cent drop - according to its earnings report released on Thursday.

Still, the company's losses narrowed, with a net loss of $21 million this quarter -- down from $103 million this time last year, The Verge reported.

Twitter expects the next quarter to be profitable.

In good news for investors, the company now has 330 million monthly users, up from 326 million last quarter and 317 million this time last year. The daily active users are also up 14 percent year over year, though Twitter did not give an exact figure on where those are at overall.

Meanwhile, Twitter also said that it had miscounted monthly active users since late 2014, overestimating growth for the prior two quarters by one to two million.

This means that the company has actually lost users during the summer, when it said there was no increase in its user base.

Image : shutterstock

Further, Twitter hinted that the 280-character tweets would stay.

"We expect to see fewer tweets running into the character limit over time, and we'll be sharing the results of this experiment publicly in the coming weeks," Twitter said.

The company said that it "remain(s) focused on making Twitter easier to use" and that its live programming "has significant momentum."

As far as Periscope is concerned, Twitter said 96 million hours of user-created video was streamed over Periscope during its third quarter.

Twitter takes down all RT, Sputnik advertising

Keeping with its commitment to help protect integrity of user experience on Twitter, the microblogging site has banned advertising from all accounts owned by Russia Today (RT) and Sputnik with immediate effect.

The ban comes a week ahead of Twitter testifying before a US House Committee regarding its role in the supposed Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential polls.

"This decision was based on the retrospective work we've been doing around the 2016 US election and the US intelligence community's conclusion that both RT and Sputnik attempted to interfere with the election on behalf of the Russian government," Twitter said in a statement on Thursday.

The company said that this decision was restricted to these two entities based on its internal investigation of the behaviour media houses as well as their inclusion in the January 2017 DNI report.

Twitter also decided to take the $1.9 million they are projected to have earned from RT global advertising since they became an advertiser in 2011, which includes the $274,100 in 2016 US-based advertising and donate those funds to support external research into the use of Twitter in civic engagement and elections, including use of malicious automation and misinformation, with an initial focus on elections and automation.

Meanwhile, RT's editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan has said the move will spark retaliation from Moscow, and has revealed that Twitter pushed RT to spend ad money during the presidential campaign.

Simonyan said the decision was "highly regrettable" and could serve as a precursor to retaliatory measures towards the US media.

According to a report in RT, Simonyan posted the social network's own pitch for an RT advertising campaign ahead of last year's election, in which Twitter said that the news site would provide an "unbiased point view of the US Elections with an edge."

"Hope Jack Dorsey (Twitter CEO) won't forget to tell Congress how Twitter pitched RT to spend big $s on US election ad campaign," tweeted Simonyan.

The report also said that RT turned down Twitter's advertising pitch and spent only $274,100 on all US Twitter ads in 2016.

The Russian Foreign Ministry later confirmed that Moscow would take countermeasures in response to a "violation of freedom of speech".

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