Twitter Restates User Count, Wrongly Attributed 3rd-Party App Audiences

28 October, 2017, 01:09 | Author: Rolando Keller
  • Henry Dombey | Vox Media

Twitter Inc. has admitted to incorrectly reporting its single most important metric, monthly active users (MAUs), for almost three years.

Twitter stockholders earned 10 cents per share in the third quarter, double the expected amount.

Daily active user growth: Up 14% from the year-ago period.

This new discovery means Twitter's previously reported lack of growth was even more bleak that we thought.

"We discovered that since the fourth quarter of 2014 we had included users of certain third-party applications as Twitter MAUs that should not have been considered MAUs", Twitter said in a regulatory filing Thursday.

Its monthly active user base rose slightly to 330 million, roughly in line with forecasts.

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The company did have to concede that it had miscounted its user figures in the second quarter, which masked a drop in its overall total.

Twitter has never had a profitable quarter based on generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), but it said yesterday, "we will probably be GAAP profitable" in the fourth quarter, if it reaches the high end of its own estimates.

The company took in $590 million in revenue, which is down four percent from previous year but still $3 million more than analysts expected.

Another reason Wall Street is happy?

The disparities between the reported and actual numbers, which range between 1 million and 2 million users depending on the quarter, were broken down in a chart that Twitter released to accompany the news. "These third-party applications used Digits, a software development kit of our now-divested Fabric platform, that allowed third-party applications to send authentication messages via SMS through our systems, which did not relate to activity on the Twitter platform", the statement read.

Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) early Thursday posted market-beating earnings results and noted that its daily active user growth continued to accelerate, sending its shares soaring in premarket trading. That will see the burgeoning company report a positive income for the first time, and may prove to investors and the wider world that Jack Dorsey's plan to revive Twitter is worth persisting with.

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