Twitter’s monthly active user base fell in Q4

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By Larry Banks

Despite a quarterly revenue of $710.5 million, social media giant Twitter posted a net loss of $90 million in Q4.

However, much worse were the firm’s user base stats, as it was reported that Monthly Average Users (MAU) remained flat between Q3 and Q4. However if Twitter subtracted its SMS-only customers (mainly in India and Brazil and don’t see ads as regular mobile users do), the MAU fell to 305 million per year, falling from 307 the previous quarter.

Executives in the social media company noted however that the monthly active user base has risen in January to Q3 levels. On the earnings call, one executive said the rebound was due to the first quarter being a historically strong one given the amount of live events – such as awards, sporting events and big celebrations.

The company also said it tried to reduce the amount of emails to dormant users, possibly contributing to the fall in MAUs.

In a letter to shareholders, the company noted it spent the last six months reorganising, with former CEO Jack Dorsey back in his position as the financials have worsened. Dorsey said that in 2016, Twitter’s objectives would be to refine its core services, invest in live video, help content creators, make the service safer, and help developers use the service to grow their businesses.

Twitter has struggled since its Initial Public Ofering, with some blaming that on poor rollout of features – such as Moments, which executives reaffirmed their belief in on the earnings call) or more ads turning some users off.

Twitter will apparently make Periscope a primary source of investment funds, and he said Twitter’s proposed new out of order timeline would soon make sense to users.

The pledge to make the service safer suggests an issue that has dogged the firm recently – how to deal with abuse and trolls, and tweets from groups like ISIS. Recently, 125,000 Twitter accounts were removed from people who allegedly belong to such organisations.

Despite Twitter’s shares being up by four percent at market closing, three percent was lost in after hours trading.

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