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Twitter posts record yearly growth in users

By Fred Katayama  23 July 2020

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Twitter on Thursday reported its highest-ever yearly growth of daily users who can view ads, beating analysts’ estimates on usage and sending its shares up. Fred Katayama reports.

Twitter users, stuck at home and glued to their devices for news about the health crisis, accounted for a spike in growth at the social-media company. The number of average monetizable daily users rose 34 percent in the latest quarter to 186 million, recording its highest ever yearly growth and beating analysts estimates. The sharp increase sent Twitter shares higher in early trading Tuesday.

But the pandemic wasn’t all good news for the micro-blogging site. The economic slump triggered by the coronavirus battered its events-oriented digital ads business, dragging sales down 23%. Those ads make up four-fifths of overall revenue, and the company’s top-line revenue shrank 19%. Twitter’s bottom line also took a hit. The company swung from a quarterly profit to a loss, hurt by the reversal of a tax benefit last year.

The earnings release comes a week after Twitter was the victim of a hack that hijacked the accounts of high-profile users like reality TV star Kim Kardashian and former President Barack Obama. The company said Thursday that it had taken steps to bolster its security and resiliency in dealing with what it called a “very public and disappointing security issue.”

This report was produced by Fred Katayama. Additional reporting by Elizabeth Culliford and Katie Paul; Editing by Leslie Adler and Steve Orlofsky

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