Twitter adds 4 million users amid ongoing harassment problem

The Gaza Post | The News of Palestine – San Francisco

Twitter added 4 million new monthly users last quarter, an encouraging bump after growth stalled over the summer.

The company now has 330 million monthly users, up from 326 million last quarter and 317 million this time last year. It’s not a huge overall improvement, but user growth is one of the big things Twitter and its investors have been looking for.

Daily active users are also up 14 percent year over year, though Twitter didn’t give an exact figure on where those are at overall. In a bit of somewhat bad news, Twitter also said it had miscounted monthly active users since late 2014, overestimating growth by for the prior two quarters by 1 to 2 million. The adjusted figures mean that the company actually lost users during the summer, instead of staying even with its results in the spring.

The new figures come from Twitter’s earnings report, released this morning. Twitter reported revenue of $590 million, down from $616 million this time last year, a four percent drop. Still, the company’s losses narrowed, with a net loss of $21 million this quarter, down from $103 million this time last year.

Since Jack Dorsey has returned to the company two years ago, Twitter has reworked its product in a number of small ways in order to better appeal to new users. Recently, it’s started moving into live video shows (which, full disclosure, currently includes a series from Circuit Breaker) and testing out 280-character tweets as a way to make the product easier to use. In its earnings release, Twitter hinted that these 280-character tweets were here to stay. “We expect to see fewer tweets running into the character limit over time, and we’ll be sharing the results of this experiment publicly in the coming weeks,” the release says.

At the same time, Twitter has faced ever louder complaints about the harassment rampant on its platform. Twitter has said time and again that it would deal with this but has yet to find a workable solution. Last week, Twitter released a calendar of changes it plans to make as part of its latest attempt to shut down abuse. It’s a problem that clearly discourages people from wanting to use and sign up for Twitter, and it’s something that Twitter’s clearly going to need to work on if it wants these numbers to keep growing.

Twitter’s numbers remain surprisingly low compared to other social networks — particular ones owned by Facebook. Instagram has 800 million monthly active users, having added 200 million in little more than the last year. WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger have over 1 billion monthly users each, and Facebook itself has over 2 billion. Snapchat, which has itself seen slow growth, only discloses daily active users, but it’s at around half of what Twitter has in a month, with 173 million people using the app each day.

Yesterday, Twitter also announced that it planned to improve disclosures around political ads, in an attempt to open up after Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Though eyes have largely been on Facebook, fake accounts were made on Twitter, too. The new policies will require political ads in support of a specific candidate to be identified as an “electioneering ad” and will appear in a new Transparency Center. That said, the Russian-backed advertising and propaganda accounts typically promoted divisive issues, not specific candidates, so that may only go so far. Twitter also plans to implement “stricter policies and transparency” around issue-based ads, but hasn’t outlined its plans yet.

Source : the verge

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