Twitter has reported better than expected quarterly revenues and user numbers as it saw a large drop in “spammy or malicious behaviour”.
The social network said revenues rose 18% to $841m (£679m) in the three months to the end of June, and that daily active usage hit 139 million.
The strong figures were attributed to efforts to deliver more relevant content, helping attract users and advertisers.
The company’s forecasts for the third quarter were lower than some analysts had been expecting but Wall Street still cheered the results, sending shares 10% higher.
Twitter had been hit by declines in monthly usage numbers during 2018 as it started deleting millions of spam or fake accounts promoting hate speech or spreading political misinformation.
It has now stopped using that metric and instead reports monetisable daily active usage, measuring only users exposed on a daily basis to advertising on the site.
Chief executive Jack Dorsey said it was continuing “to proactively identify and address malicious behaviour, resulting in an 18% drop in reports of spammy or suspicious behaviour”.
Aaron Goldman, CMO, 4C Insights, said: “Twitter has become indispensable to both consumers and advertisers. When something happens in the world, it’s reflected on Twitter in real-time. For brands, you need to be there if you want to be part of the conversation. At 4C, we’re seeing particularly strong growth with video on Twitter. The sight, sound, and motion of video advertising literally pops out of the feed and engages a captive audience.”
Yuval Ben-Itzhak, CEO, Socialbakers, said: “Twitter’s leadership team delivered positive results thanks to strong execution – and their refreshing ability to find new growth opportunities after a long period of little or no growth. Bravo. But the question is: can they continue to grow the data business given they are already charging their tech partners such a high price?
“The new monetizable daily active users (mDAU) metric, showing just 134m vs 330m users in total, might add a better view on the business’ health. The question is who are the remaining 200m DAUs – are they bots? – and what does that mean about the value of the business for investors and scale of engagements for brands?”
Data from Socialbakers shows that follower counts are increasing and interactions are still pretty high on brand profiles, demonstrating Twitter’s success.