Twitter shared its latest performance update, which shows an increase of 12 million more daily active users and a revenue increase of 28% in the first quarter of 2021.
First for users – Twitter now has up to 199 million monetized daily active users (mDAU), regaining momentum after slowing down Q4 20.
I’m not sure about these more limited comparisons – Twitter sometimes tries to cover up potential growth issues by limiting the scope of its rankings so you can only see YoY numbers.
Here’s an overview of the mDAU number over the past five quarters for a better view of Twitter’s growth (I merged the data into the last bar chart, so it looks a little different).
As you can see, Twitter is growing at a steady pace – though not sure of its math skills. 162 + 38 is not equal to 199. This must be a rounding error.
Twitter says the growth in its use has been driven by “constant product improvements and global discussions about current events.”
Although this has also recently created problems with Twitter clashing with the Indian authorities due to attempts at censorship. Despite this, growth in the international and US markets is positive and will help Twitter to establish a more stable and continuous business as more brands want to connect with customers in different regions.
In terms of revenue, Twitter brought in $ 1.04 billion for the quarter, up 28% from last year.
Twitter says advertiser demand was high in the quarter, and revenue from mobile app promotion (MAP) also grew.
“While it’s still too early to understand the full impact of Apple’s iOS 14.5 changes, our integration with SKAdNetwork has allowed us to reach new audiences, increasing the total number of iOS devices we can advertise on MAP ads by 30% while maintaining cost per installation. “
Twitter does not expect the IDFA change to have major consequences impact for your ad partners, though like all platforms, must wait and see before it can measure effects. This can be a problem moving forward, but if it is, all digital ad providers are likely to experience the same, which can mitigate the market response.
The figures look good and indicate an increasing evolution on the platform, although Twitter’s revenue costs have also recorded a significant jump.
Twitter says R&D costs have risen 25% to $ 251 million, “primarily due to higher staff-related costs, as we continue to focus on investment in engineering, products, design and research.”
Twitter has worked hard to develop new products, like audio Spaces and new ‘Super Follow‘opportunities to provide financial incentives to authors. With this, Twitter too acquired platform for Revue newsletters, and a development platform Rearrangement in the period, adding its costs.
And it will look like it will spend more on development advancing with a range of new features, like business profiles, is currently under construction, while newer tools like Communities and the expansion of topics will also require additional investment.
Twitter also shared that it now has more than 6,100 employees worldwide, a 20 percent jump in total staff.
Looking at its key victories in that period, Twitter says Topics has noticed new users well, helping them lead them to more relevant content with tweets.
“During registration, customers can now choose Topics to follow from a dynamic list of the most popular – an improvement that has led to 33% of new customers following Topics during registration in Q1.”
Twitter says it now has more than 7,000 topics, in nine languages, which it is continuously expanding and recommending to users as a means to increase engagement and time spent.
Twitter also notes that it has continued to expand its offer of live and on-demand video content, including short videos and highlights, through sports, entertainment, games, news and politics. Twitter also recently updated its Increase video ad bids before playback, providing more ways for advertisers to align their promotions with popular clips.
Yet at the same time, Twitter has warned of unpredictable performance comparisons moving forward.
“Looking ahead, the significant wave associated with the pandemic we saw last year creates challenging difficulties and can lead to mDAU growth rates in small double-digit year-on-year figures in Q2, Q3 and Q4, with the lowest value in terms of growth likely in Q2. “
In other words, like all digital platforms, Twitter saw a big jump in usage last year, which will make the numbers seem less favorable this year – but you’re actually looking at a two-year growth basis, as opposed to the 2020 jump so far.
Overall, this is a good report for Twitter, with growth continuing, despite concerns about the fall after Trump.
If anything, the figures show that the so-called ‘Trump effect’ on Twitter has not been as significant as many expected, and the platform’s focus on key areas of growth and adding new products has yielded good results as it continues to invest.