Twitter is finally figuring out how to monetize its user base

Another strong quarter for Twitter.
Another strong quarter for Twitter.
Image: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic
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Twitter posted second quarter earnings (pdf) today, in what was a strong period for the social media giant. Year on year, revenue is up 18%, and average monetizable daily users (mDAUs) grew to 139 million, a 14% bump.

It’s the first quarter Twitter released figures for mDAUs, after missing expectations for daily active users (DAUs) over the past two quarters. The company defines this new category of measurement as “Twitter users who log in and access Twitter on any given day through or our Twitter applications that are able to show ads.”

The earnings bump caused Twitter’s share price to tick up today, and it’s now up more than 40% this year.

The results show that Twitter is doing a better job getting more users in and keeping them. The company attributes this to a few key product changes, including a site redesign, an updated timeline, and what it says is an 18% drop in abusive content thanks to better machine learning and AI.

“And an initiative that has been really important to us and one we’ve made a lot of progress on is to proactively identify and address malicious behavior,” said CEO Jack Dorsey in the post-earnings call. “This means removing the burden from the victims of abuse and harassment on our service and practically identifying those tweets and making sure that our agents are well equipped to take actions on them.”

Though Twitter was plagued by a decade of earnings losses, today’s results are the seventh consecutive quarter of turning a profit.

Twitter’s US revenue outstrips that from the rest of the world combined, even though US users make up only about a fifth of users globally. That could spell future monetary gains for Twitter, if it can serve international users with more ads or charge more for them.