Skip to main content

Twitter results disappoint as advertisers abandon the platform

twitter suspends extremist accounts app
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Twitter’s share price plummeted by more than 13 percent after the social media giant reported yet another round of disappointing quarterly results on Tuesday.

Despite little investor excitement in the run-up to its first quarter earnings statement, many were taken by surprise by the company’s worrying slump in ad sales.

Overall, the microblogging platform saw its revenue climb 36 percent from a year earlier to reach $594.5 million for the quarter. The final numbers fell below analysts’ expectations of $607.8 million, as reported by Thomson Reuters. Consequently, Twitter’s second quarter revenue forecast took a hit, with the company now predicting between $590 million and $610 million, which is significantly below Wall Street estimates of $677 million.

“Brand spend didn’t grow as quickly as expected,” said Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. Fretting over a 37-percent growth in year-on-year advertising revenue may seem a tad overly self-critical, but it appears that Twitter’s advertising options are no longer a draw for big brands.

Promoted tweets, Twitter’s targeted ad placement feature, is reportedly under-performing, with brands instead opting to use videos, due to their higher rate of engagement.

Brands have held back their spending on traditional advertising options — which include call-to-action buttons that encourage users to click through to a website — and are blaming Twitter’s lack of targeting functions, reports the Wall Street Journal. The company’s financial chief, Anthony Noto, has promised that advertising improvements are scheduled for this fall.

There was, however, a small glimmer of hope for the company. During the first quarter, Twitter gained a respectable increase in its monthly active users, adding five million to its total, which stood at 310 million for the period — up from 302 million users a year ago.

Speaking to analysts via Periscope, Dorsey commented that the platform remains committed to making the Twitter experience “easy to use.” Since retaking the reins at the company last year, Dorsey has pushed to make Twitter more accessible through the addition of controversial new features, including an algorithmic timeline and Moments, an editorial-style, trending news feed. At the very least, the growth in total users hints the gambles may be paying off.

Twitter also has the advantage of its NFL streaming partnership, which will see it broadcast ten Thursday Night Football games over the coming months. Dorsey hinted that the deal could be one of many, claiming that once it was announced almost every major sports league in the world reached out to the platform with similar initiatives. The CEO previously revealed that live chat during major events is an integral part of its strategy, and it will be hoping that the NFL livestream will encourage even more users, and advertisers, to join the Twitter conversation.

Editors' Recommendations

Saqib Shah
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Saqib Shah is a Twitter addict and film fan with an obsessive interest in pop culture trends. In his spare time he can be…
Thanks to Tapbots’ Ivory app, I’m finally ready to ditch Twitter for good
Profile displayed in Ivory app

Ever since Elon Musk took ownership of Twitter, it’s been one chaotic new thing after another. You literally cannot go a day (or a few days or even a week) without some stupid new change to the site — whether it’s about checkmarks for verified or Twitter Blue subscriber accounts, how links to other social networks are banned and then reversed, view counts on Tweets, or something else. I can’t keep up with every little thing that has happened since the beginning of November, and it feels like the spotlight is always on the toxicity of the site in general.

New Twitter alternatives have been popping up recently, but it seems that the most popular one continues to be Mastodon. I originally made a Mastodon account back in 2018 when it first launched, but it never clicked with me back then, and I eventually went back to Twitter. With the Musk mess, I tried going back to Mastodon, but again, it didn’t really click with me — until Tweetbot developer, Tapbots, revealed its next project: Ivory.
The significance of Tapbots and Tweetbot

Read more
Twitter bans, then unbans account tracking Elon Musk’s jet
A digital image of Elon Musk in front of a stylized background with the Twitter logo repeating.

Hours after Twitter suspended the account that tracks the movements of Elon Musk’s private jet, the company reversed its decision and put it back online.

Twitter also suspended the account of Jack Sweeney, the person behind @elonjet, and @jxacksweeney remains out of action at the time of writing.

Read more
Twitter’s downfall made me look for alternatives, but they just made it worse
Twitter app on the OnePlus 10T.

Twitter is the only social network I’ve ever stuck with and enjoyed, but this has changed since Elon Musk took ownership of the company. The influence he has on it and its content has altered the posts I see, the people who regularly contribute, and the entire platform’s future. While some will welcome the changes, it has made Twitter less enjoyable for me — and prompted me to look for an alternative.

But the ones I’ve tried are simply not good enough and don’t have the same appeal that has kept me returning to Twitter for more than a decade. The shambles around Twitter and its alternatives has ended up making me rethink the way I feel about social media entirely, and perhaps for the better.
Trying to understand Mastodon

Read more