Twitter admits to miscounting users, on track for profit anyway


Despite admitting to overstating its numbers for the last three years, Twitter is still on track to makes its first-ever profit in the upcoming quarter.


The social media platform revealed it has been mistakenly counting third-party app users as a part of its total monthly active users since 2014, according to a third quarter shareholder letter released Thursday.


After adjusting for the error, the overall user count dropped from 328 million to 326 million for its second quarter, which means it saw a drop in users over the summer rather than maintaining them as it was initially reported.


By the end of the third quarter on September 30, Twitter said it had about 330 million users.


Despite the mistake, the company said its daily active user count is increasing. While Twitter declined to share the exact number, it said the average grew 14% from last year — a 12% increase from last quarter. And while advertising revenue declined by 8% year over year, data licensing and other revenue increased 22% over the same time frame.


What’s more, the company is headed toward turning its first-ever profit in the fourth quarter if it reaches the high end of its own estimates.


“This quarter we made progress in three key areas of our business: we grew our audience and engagement, made progress on return to revenue growth and achieved record profitability,” CEO Jack Dorsey said in a statement.


“We’re proud that the improvements we’re making to the product continue to bring people back to Twitter on a daily basis.”


Twitter reported a modest $590 million in revenue — which is in line with expectations — for the third quarter, which marks a 4% decline from last year. The company reported a $21.1 million loss for the quarter, as its shares soared to almost 9% Thursday.


With News Wire Services

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