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Twitter only lost half a billion dollars last year

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Twitter is inching toward profitability. But this is another example where Facebook’s execution as a public company continues to look particularly impressive—especially relative to Twitter’s.

Twitter announced today (Feb. 10) that it lost $90 million during the fourth quarter of 2015 on $710 million of revenue. Both of those were improvements year-over-year; the company lost $125 million on $479 million of sales in the fourth quarter of 2014. It was Twitter’s smallest quarterly loss since going public.

Still, at this point as a public company, Facebook had long turned profitable after early losses.

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In its more than two years since going public, Twitter has lost a cumulative $1.6 billion, including $521 million in 2015. After a similar amount of time past its initial public offering, Facebook had generated almost $3 billion in cumulative profit. The word “profit” does not appear in Twitter’s fourth-quarter letter to shareholders (pdf).

Meanwhile, Twitter said 2015 was its first full year of positive free cash flow, an important measurement of a company’s financial health, and that it expects to generate “significantly more” free cash flow in 2016.

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