Disclosure: not a shareholder unfortunately
Twitter added 5 million daily users last quarter, bringing the company to 139 million in total. That’s the highest the number has been since Twitter started reporting daily usage statistics earlier this year, and it represents the highest annual growth in almost two years.
While it’s a great sign for Twitter — suggesting that recent changes to the platform have been successful at retaining and attracting users — that’s also very much the narrative Twitter wants us to take away. As of this quarter, Twitter is no longer disclosing how many monthly users it has, and that number spent a full year in decline, only growing again in the first few months of this year.
Twitter said that daily usage numbers are “the best ways to measure our success.” But it’s also being frustratingly obtuse in its presentation, saying that its own daily usage numbers “are not comparable” to other companies’ daily usage numbers, because other companies count differently. Twitter says the difference is that it only counts daily users who see ads, whereas other companies count users who don’t.
Twitter’s second-quarter revenue rose 18% year over year to $841 million, coming in ahead of analysts’ average forecast of $830 million. It also was above the high end of management’s guidance for revenue during the quarter to be between $770 million and $830 million.
Daily active users increased 14% year over year – an acceleration compared to 11% growth in the first quarter of 2019.
Twitter said it reached an average of 139 million monetizable daily active users (mDAUs) in the second quarter, a 14% increase year over year. Average domestic mDAUs came to 29 million in the quarter, a 10% increase compared with a year earlier. Internationally, average mDAUs were 110 million in the quarter, up 15% from the previous year.
On a call with analysts, CFO Ned Segal said Twitter has been “remarkably consistent” with bringing in users at the top of the funnel who visit the site for a specific purpose. It’s focused on converting those people into mDAUs by helping them “find what they’re looking for faster,” he said.
Twitter provided guidance for the third quarter, saying it expects revenue to range from $815 million to $875 million. It expects operating income to range between $45 million and $80 million. For the full fiscal year, Twitter reiterated that it expects operating expenses to go up about 20% on a year-over-year basis as it invests in top priorities like health and conversation.