Twitter exceeds expectations in Q3 2017, adding 4m users, as losses narrow

Posted October 28, 2017

The company also revealed that its net loss had narrowed in the third quarter and the number of daily active users had risen 14 percent.

To the social media icon's credit, this admission wasn't the result of an investigative journalist poking their nose into the company's operations but an acknowledgment in its latest quarterly earnings report, released today.

The company took in $590 million in revenue, which is down four percent from a year ago but still $3 million more than analysts expected. It now claims to have 330 million active users - meaning an uptick of 4 million rather than 2 million. The company admitted in an appendix to the earnings report that it had accidentally overstated its monthly active user count in every quarter since the end of 2014.

As a effect, the revised total for Q2 is now 326 million, but that has meant that it can claim to have added four million users in the last three months.

The company did have to concede that it had miscounted its user figures in the second quarter, which masked a drop in its overall total.

Another reason Wall Street is happy? These third-party applications used Digits, a software development kit of our now-divested Fabric platform, that allowed third-party applications to send authentication messages via SMS through our systems, which did not relate to activity on the Twitter platform. The company believes that changes to the platform, making it easier to use, and more exposure from global events, account for the gain in new users.

"We discovered that since the fourth quarter of 2014 we had included users of certain third-party applications as Twitter MAUs that should not have been considered MAUs", it explained. The company said it didn't have exact data for periods before the fourth quarter of 2016, but that those losses would be the same or smaller than the four quarters reported.

Other telling statistics include a modest decline in revenue ($590 million) in comparison to the same point previous year ($616 million), roughly a four percent drop.

On a call with investors, CEO Jack Dorsey reiterated that Twitter is intently focused on improving safety for users.