Twitter revenues leap 119% but user growth 'crawls'

Twitter's first-quarter revenues have leapt 119% to $250m (£149m), but the network's user growth came below analysts expectations, causing its share price to fall overnight.

Twitter: income from mobile ads made up 80% of its total advertising revenue in Q1
Twitter: income from mobile ads made up 80% of its total advertising revenue in Q1

The social network reported profits of $250m for the three months to 31 March, $226m (£134m), which came from advertising revenues, up 125% year on year.

Twitter said its mobile advertising revenue accounted for approximately 80% of its total ad revenue.

The network also posted a net loss of $132m (£79m), while its user growth rose by just 3.8%. The BBC reported that Twitter's stocks fell by more than 11% in after-hours trading.

Leila Thabet, managing director of We Are Social US said Twitter had gone from "high-flyer to slow crawl" in the eyes of the financial community.

She said: "Despite a 119% increase in revenue, a user growth of just 6% over the previous quarter is clearly not the breakneck pace the market expects from a fast-growth social platform.

"Revenue is obviously important, but the big issues remain user growth, monthly active users and engagement, with a slow-growing user base making engagement even more critical.

"While Twitter has made notable strides with recent redesigns, the platform continues to face some fundamental engagement challenges.

"Twitter appears to have a rising number of inactive accounts, and more than half of monthly active users never send a tweet or message.

"That means the masses still don’t find the platform easy to use, nor do they have a clear enough understanding of what they can get out of it. 

"This could change quickly if the platform successfully explains its utility and value to a broader audience.

"The younger, media-savvy segment is largely locked in, now it’s time for Twitter to connect with the slightly older demographic of the general population who have fuelled Facebook’s continued user growth.

"On the bright side, it has been reported that Twitter will roll out more than a dozen new ad products in the next six months."

Subscribe to Campaign from just £57 per quarter

Includes the weekly magazine and quarterly Campaign IQ, plus unrestricted online access.


Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

1 Martin Freeman fronts Vodafone UK's first integrated ad campaign by Ogilvy

The Hobbit and Sherlock star Martin Freeman plays a rude wedding guest in Vodafone's first integrated ad campaign since the telecoms giant moved its UK ad business to Ogilvy & Mather earlier this year.

Case study: How 'This girl can' got 1.6 million women exercising

1 Case study: How 'This girl can' got 1.6 million women exercising

"This girl can" was based on a powerful insight: that the fear of judgement by others is the primary barrier holding women back from participating in sport.

Just published