The money is pouring in quickly on Twitter these days, but they have a hard time getting more people to the platform.
Twitter posted $ 936 million in revenue for the third quarter of 2020, up 37% from a disappointing $ 683 million last quarter and up 14% year over year.
Despite the increased revenue driven by the recovery in advertising spending, Twitter’s user base has changed little since the last quarter. The social media company added just 1 million new users, from 186 million to 187 million daily monetizable active users (mDAU).
“In the second quarter, many brands slowed or paused spending in response to turmoil in the US and then increased spending relatively quickly to catch up,” the company said in its letter to shareholders. “The period around the US elections is somewhat uncertain, but we have no reason to believe that sales outside the election window will not continue or even improve in September.”
Ned Segal, the company’s CFO, said advertisers increased their spending on Twitter in line with the return of live events like sports. Segal said the company had also “made advances in our branded and direct response products, with updated ad formats, improved metrics and better predictions.”
Twitter also announced that it has delayed the rollout of its revised app installation ad offering, called MAP, until 2021.
Twitter’s stock fell 16% after close of trading after rising 8% during the day.
Twitter has been targeted by Republicans on Capitol Hill for its active approach to combating misinformation and hate speech on its platform. (This was why Adweek recognized Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Digital Executive of the Year earlier this week.)
Dorsey has been harassed by the Senate Commerce Committee over Section 230 reforms that would change the way platforms are legally made liable for user-generated content. Much of the polling of Senate Republicans concerned the recent decisions by Twitter to label President Donald Trump’s tweets as misleading and illegal. Republicans also called on Twitter for its controversial decision, which the company eventually rolled back to temporarily block the New York Post’s dubious coverage of the Hunter Biden email scandal.
Twitter’s efforts to moderate content could be daunting to some in Washington. Still, the company is more interested in targeting advertisers who have been more responsive to the bigger issues of brand safety and the health of the platform over the past year. Twitter’s own decisions this summer prompted the entire industry to rethink the approach that platform companies use to moderate content. Twitter’s moves in this direction contrasted sharply with Facebook, which saw a boycott of 1,000 advertisers in July in protest of its hate speech guidelines and enforcement.
Despite the uncertainty about how the elections will affect advertising, Twitter doesn’t have to consider political ads – it banned them entirely last year.