How are those 280-character tweets working? Twitter grows, but not in U.S.
Twitter’s global user count grew to 330 million monthly active users, but U.S.-based users are signing in to the platform less often. On Thursday, February 8, Twitter shared its fourth quarter and year-end financial results — including just how well those new 280 character Tweets are faring.
Twitter’s monthly active user count worldwide grew four percent both last year and last quarter, but the daily user growth on the platform saw a much higher margin of growth. Daily active users, in the last quarter, grew by 12 percent, maintaining a double-digit growth for the last five quarters.
The numbers in the U.S., however, aren’t so good; in the last quarter, monthly active users in the U.S. dropped by two percent, from 69 million to 68 million. Twitter said the drop was in part because of changes in Safari’s third-party app integration because users aren’t included in the numbers. The network was also plagued by the #WomenBoycottTwitter last year and users vowing to leave because of the abuse on the platform. The company has since made multiple revisions to the community rules and how those rules are implemented, which continues to be a focus as the company moves into 2018.
While growth wasn’t high for the company, users that are using the platform appear to be spending more time on it, or at least, engaging more. Twitter said that, after upping the character limit to 280, users find it easier and faster to tweet. Users that use that full limit receive more likes, retweets, mentions, and tend to have more followers. That same group of users tends to log in more often and spend more time on Twitter once there.
Interaction with ads also saw a big increase, with engagement up 75 percent in 2017 compared to 2016. Twitter says that improving the ad options and delivering more relevant ads led to the change. Facebook saw a similar trend in 2017, with growth slowing and the time spent on the platform decreasing but ad spending actually increasing.
If the 2017 results are any indication, Twitter will also continue to focus on video growth. In just the last quarter, the company finalized 22 new partnerships for live-streaming and other video formats, with nine of those international. The platform streamed 1,140 live events and 28 million user-generated live-streams.
Financially, the report is a bright spot for Twitter with the company’s first GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) profit in the green since going public four years ago.
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