Twitter Monthly Active Users Drop to 321 Million, Video Ad Sales Surge

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Contributing to Twitter's monthly user count woes, the company has cracked down on bots and purged hundreds of fake accounts from Iran, Russia, and Venezuela that were believed to be targeting the 2018 midterm elections. Twitter reported a record-setting revenue of $909 million in the fourth quarter, a 24-percent increase compared to this time past year.

But Twitter's base of monthly active users declined to 321 million - a drop of nine million from a year earlier and five million from the prior quarter.

The switch to a monetisable daily user count enables Twitter to put a more positive spin on how it's doing, but even there, Twitter gives off the impression that it's trying to paint a slightly rosier picture than reality - at least when it comes to the competition.

Twitter revealed its number of daily users for the first time on Thursday, disclosing that there are 126 million people on the service. Based on GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles), Twitter made $255 million in the quarter, up from $91 million reported during the same quarter a year ago. The company's shares increased 35 percent in the past 12 months through Wednesday's close, as investors grew optimistic about Twitter's ability to attract more advertisers to the service, which has benefited from new formats like video.

Overall revenue rose to $909 million (roughly Rs. 6,500 crores) in the quarter, beating Wall Street's average estimate of $868.2 million (roughly Rs. 6,200 crores).

Twitter Q4 2018- mDAU charts

While directly comparing the number of daily active users with those of Twitter's peers may be hard as there is no industry standard on how social media platforms measure the metric, Snap Inc reported earlier this week that it had 186 million daily active users in the fourth quarter. It said, "Our focus on improving the health of the public conversation on Twitter delivered promising results in 2018, with a 16% year-over-year decrease in abuse reports from people who had an interaction with their alleged abuser on Twitter, and enforcement on reported content that was 3X more effective".

"Video was more than half of ad revenue for Q4 and for 2018", Twitter said in a statement.

Twitter says it has 126 million daily users.

Twitter reported quarterly profit, excluding some items, of 31 cents per share.

Twitter's slice of the digital-advertising market is expected to decline this year as Facebook and Alphabet 's (GOOGL) Google tighten their grip and (AMZN) makes significant strides, according to eMarketer. The company also announced it earned $3 billion in revenue past year, a 25 percent increase from 2017.

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