Twitter finally turns a profit – and it only took 12 years

Definitely worth a tweet or two

For as popular and iconic as Twitter is, it may surprise you to learn it’s seemingly always on the brink of going under, but the company got some good news today. Believe it or not, Twitter is 12 years old. It went public four years ago, but today, for the first time it actually turned a profit. Company beancounters say the social media mainstay made $91 million in the fourth quarter of last year.

So, it’s got a ways to go before it catches Apple, but at least it’s on the right track – for investors. For users, the news isn’t so good: The service can’t seem to break through the 330 million mark for worldwide tweeters, and the Twitter base in the U.S. actually dropped from 69 to 68 million, the second time it’s dipped in the last year. But worldwide, the user count is slowly, slowly ticking up. Twitter says the revised 280-character limit is helping there.

So where’d the profits come from? Cost-cutting measures and advertising revenues, mostly. And while 330 million Twitter users sounds like a lot, keep in mind Instagram has 800 million users and Facebook has more than 2 billion. So, there’s room to grow.

Smart watch heart smarts

Smartwatch adoption has been lower and slower than most tech makers would like, but that hasn’t stopped Apple from continuing to push the tech forward, especially when it comes to tracking health data. Now, app maker Cardiogram is saying a large study they conducted indicates the Apple Watch – and other smartwatches that continuously measure heart rate – can detect the early onset of diabetes with an accuracy of 85 percent.

App maker Cardiogram says they collected the heart rate metrics of over 14,000 Apple Watch and Android Smartwatch users, mixed in an AI algorithm called DeepHeart, and found they could detect prediabetes along with high blood pressure, sleep apnea and heart defects like atrial fibrillation – also known as A-Fib – with high rates of accuracy. Apple is also teaming with Stanford university to see what other ailments the wrist tech can discover.

More feathers on the way

Nest has sold a ton of those smart thermostats that got the company on the map back in 2010, when it was started by a couple of ex-Apple engineers. Google snapped them up for over $3 billion just four years later, and since then Nest has been successful… but sort of quiet as it soldiered on as essentially an independent subsidiary of Google parent Alphabet. But, that just changed.

Alphabet just bounced Nest over to Google proper, and it’ll come under the purview of Google hardware VP Rick Osterloh, who is also responsible for things like Google Home devices and other smart home hardware. The smart home tech segment is going to be huge going forward, and Google is going to use Nest’s brand cache to maximum effect as new products with Google Assistant baked in roll out in the years to come.

We’ve got more news on our Facebook page and YouTube channel, and be sure to tune in to this week’s DT podcasts: Trends with Benefits (general tech shenanigans)  on Thursdays, and Between the Streams (movie and TV topics) every Friday.