#cyberbullying | #cyberbully | Twitter shares dip as it misses profit forecasts

Shares in Twitter slipped almost two per cent in pre-market trading after the social media firm missed profit estimates but delivered better-than-expected revenue and user growth.

Twitter reported net income of $119m (£91m), down from $255m on the same quarter last year and behind expectations.

Read more: Twitter trials function to block all replies

However, the firm posted revenue of $1.01bn — up 11 per cent and the first time it has broken the $1bn mark — and reported 21 per cent growth in monetisable daily active users (mDAU) to 152m.

Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey said: “2019 was a great year for Twitter. Entering 2020, we are building on our momentum — learning faster, prioritizing better, shipping more and hiring remarkable talent. All of which put us in a stronger position as we address the challenges and opportunities ahead.”

The firm said it expected total revenue for the first quarter to be between $825m and $885m, with operating income between $0m and $30m.

It comes as the social media platform pumps money into developing its advertising format to improve return on investment for brands and boost its ability to monetise users.

In the third quarter Twitter missed expectations for both profit and revenue, sending its shares spiralling almost 20 per cent.

The disappointing figures came after the site replaced older ad formats and battled technical issues including bugs that impacted its ability to target ads and share data with advertisers.

The firm also blamed unusually low demand over the summer due to a dearth of major events compared to the previous year.

Twitter boss Jack Dorsey has been vocal about his country’s efforts to crack down on online abuse — something that has come under fierce scrutiny from regulators.

Last month the firm trialled a new feature that allows users to block replies, which it said would help to curb abusive behaviour and cyber bullying. Unlike rival Facebook, Twitter also rolled out a political ad ban in November ahead of the General Election.

“We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought,” Dorsey said at the time.

Read more: General Election 2019: Twitter ban on political ads comes into effect

“Twitter, while showing some great success in growing its userbase – one that is often engaged, active and somewhat fiery – is still struggling with growing costs and the lag from technical issues that have been bugging the platform,” said Tamara Littleton, chief executive and founder of social media agency the Social Element.

“What’s really interesting to consider, however, is its long-term future, rather than these short-term results: already refusing political ads, it is now working hard to remove media designed to mislead people and seems to be working to be an industry leader in cracking down on misinformation.”

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