Shares in microblogging site Twitter surged by over 17% towards the end of last week after the company announced that it had made higher than expected revenues and attracted a rising number of users.
The news comes just days after the company’s chief executive promised to improve how Twitter tackles online abuse.
Twitter’s revenue rose 18% in the first quarter of 2019, which is an increase of 18% compared to the previous year. The figures show that its revenue increased to $787m (£605m).
Furthermore, the company also announced that the number of daily active users on the site increased by 11% and stands at 134 million. While this figure seems impressive, eagle-eyed analysts will notice that Twitter has changed this metric. At the end of last year, the company announced that the number of monthly active users had dipped from 326 million to 321 million, and this was the lowest number of monthly users in more than two years.
As a result, Twitter decided it would start reporting on daily active users instead. This figure seems to be growing at a consistent and substantial rate, making the company appear to be performing well. The figure of 134 million users has risen from 126 million last quarter and from 120 million from the previous year.
While this seems to be a good announcement for Twitter, when these figures are compared to those of the other big social platforms, Twitter is still trailing. Facebook has been the world’s largest social network for many years and at the end of 2018 reported that it had 1.5 billion daily users, dwarfing the figure posted by Twitter. Snapchat’s figure is closer to Twitter’s but is still larger at 186 million, and Facebook-owned photo-sharing app Instagram has 500 million people looking at just one section of its app each day.
After the results were posted, US President Donald Trump criticised the platform, accusing it of “political discrimination”.
President Trump claims that he is not treated as well by the company because he is a Republican. Furthermore, the founder of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, has said that he regrets the way Twitter has been designed, saying that it encourages outrage.
At the TED Conference in Vancouver, Dorsey stated that he was prepared to make a number of changes to the way Twitter operates, with the aims of making the site more conversational and being able to handle and discourage fake news, misinformation and online abuse in a better way. This may come as no surprise as social media site are increasingly coming under pressure to control the content that appears in their sites following numerous data and privacy scandals.