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Twitter Returns to User Growth in Q1

Alex Spencer

Twitter logo IRL HQTwitter reported revenues of $595m for Q1 2016, up 36 per cent year-on-year, and net losses of $79.8m, down from $162.4m a year earlier.

The vast majority of revenues – some $531m – came from advertising, and 88 per cent of that amount came from mobile.

“Revenue came in at the low end of our guidance range because brand marketers did not increase spend as quickly as expected in the first quarter,” said the company in its letter to shareholders. “We see a clear opportunity to increase our share of brand budgets over time. We have a strong product roadmap designed to tap into incremental brand-oriented online video budgets, and will deliver additional features for advertisers later this year – including more detailed demographic targeting and verification, and reach and frequency planning and purchasing.”

Perhaps the single most important part of the results, though, were Twitter's user figures, after MAUs declined for the first time in the previous quarter. Average MAUs were up 1.6 per cent from Q4 2015, and three per cent year-on-year, to 310m – with mobile accounting for 83 per cent of those users.

On the company's earnings call, CEO Jack Dorsey also talked about the company's acquisition plans:

"The acquisition of Vine, the acquisition of Periscope, of Fabric are foundational acquisitions that are allowing us to create value for shareholders both now and into the future," he said. And so the fact that we have the amount of cash on our balance sheet, over $3.5bn, leaves us with strategic optionality to look for those assets that are game-changing the way Periscope is and the way Fabric is as well as some of our other acquisitions.

"And we are focused not just on consumer capture devices, but we are also focusing on other opportunities that have scaled audience to leverage our great monetisation vehicle. And we are also focused on ad technology to continue build out our ad tech stock. At end of the day, our goal is to be a one-stop shop for advertising."