The number monthly users of social networking site Twitter has taken another hit in the last quarter, dropping by another 9 million.
The company announced last week that its monthly active user base had fallen from 335 million from the previous quarter to 326 million in the latest, meaning that the number of users has fallen for a second consecutive quarter.
One of the main citations for this decline is Twitter’s crackdown on the number of problematic spam and bot accounts, so the falling user count is not totally unexpected by the company. Last month, Twitter stated that it had begun the process of removing these toxic accounts at a far more rapid rate than before.
It also explained that it could lose another several million accounts in the next couple of months as a result of using new technology that will help it to spot ‘bad actors’ and stop them from getting onto the site in the first place.
Company CEO Jack Dorsey explained that the health of the platform is an important factor for the long-term growth of Twitter, making this process a vital initiative for the company.
This clear out of bots, spam and fake accounts should help the site to provide a better service overall, but upon reflection, the removal of millions of bad accounts shows that the growth of Twitter to date has been based on poor foundations. Not only has the user count been on the decline for two months, it is now back to the level it was at the beginning on 2017. Meanwhile, rival site Facebook has seen 38 million users join the platform in the last quarter alone.
While Twitter is actively trying to make its platform a better place for its users, it also has to consider the effect this is having on attracting new users to the site. Not all of the accounts leaving the site are spam and bot accounts, it is also dropping due to allocating resources to GDPR guidelines and through dropping SMS deals.
The number of new signups to the platform has actually dropped 20% on the last quarter, and this could be attributed to its new verification process which requires new recruits to confirm either a phone number or email address in a bid to prevent spammy or suspicious sign ups. This also helps improve the detection of those who create new accounts because their original accounts had been suspended.
It is not all doom and gloom for Twitter though, as it was able to reveal that the number of daily active users has grown. The company would not reveal the numbers but has said that it us up 9% on last year.
The company has also continued to be make profit, meaning that it has now hit a full year of profitability, something it has never achieved before. This could be due to the revenue boost it has received from major sports broadcasting. The site’s coverage of baseball and football in the US has helped contribute to these “better than expected” financial results. It had been streaming games from the MLB and the MLS, as well as a number of concerts, in association with Live Nation.