Twitter Loses 5 Million Users In Last Quarter

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However, ad sales, which comprise the bulk of the social platform's overall revenue, total $791 million, up 23 percent.

Twitter on Thursday unveiled fourth-quarter earnings that beat analysts' expectations, posting its fifth profitable quarter in a row.

The social media giant posted adjusted earnings of 31 cents per share, compared to adjusted earnings of 19 cents per share in the year-ago period. Analysts forecast Twitter would report quarterly earnings of 25 cents per share.

The San Francisco-based social media company also posted overall revenue up 24 percent to $909 million, which beat an analyst revenue forecast of $868.1 million. Ad sales, which comprise the bulk of Twitter's overall revenue, total $791 million, up 23 percent.

But shares in Twitter fell in value before the market open on Thursday as investors digested the latest results, which included a forecast of increased operating expenditures in fiscal 2019, the company said. Twitter's stock was down $2.78, or 8 percent, at $31.28 before the market open.

Twitter's number of total monthly users, at 321 million for the quarter, was down from 330 million in the same period of the previous year, and compared to 326 million in the previous quarter.

That fell short of an analyst forecast of 324 million active monthly users in the fourth quarter, according to a consensus estimate from Bloomberg News. Twitter also reported its average of daily active users rose 9 percent to 126 million.

Twitter has been working to reduce abuse against its users chatting online to boost engagement. "2018 is proof that our long-term strategy is working," said Jack Dorsey, Twitter's CEO. "Our efforts to improve health have delivered important results, and new product features like a single switch to move between latest and most relevant Tweets have been embraced by the people who use Twitter."

The social messaging app has been trying to improve its user experience and keep people more engaged in a less toxic online environment. Twitter, in comments that accompanied its financial results, said it saw a 16 percent year-over-year fall in "abuse reports" from users that faced abuse on the social media platform.

"In 2019 we will take a more proactive approach to reducing abuse and its effects on Twitter, with the goal of reducing the burden on victims of abuse and, where possible, taking action before abuse is reported," the company told investors. "Our initial focus will be on those types of abuse most likely to result in severe and immediate harm."