Shares of Twitter soared more than 18 percent higher on Thursday after the social network reported its largest-ever user growth in a quarter.
The bite-sized communications platform also raked in $1 billion in quarterly revenue for the first time ever, surpassing Wall Street’s expectations amid efforts to make itself more user-friendly in part by eliminating bots and other bad actors. Twitter has attempted to attract new users by making it easier for people to follow topics that interest them and to block abusive replies.
Its efforts have increased average monetizable daily active users (mDAU) — meaning users who see ads when they use the platform — to 152 million in the quarter, up from 126 million a year earlier. Analysts had been expecting (mDAU) of 147.5 million.
Revenue grew 11 percent in the fourth quarter, hitting $1.01 billion and beating Wall Street’s forecasts for revenue of $996.7 million. Ad revenue was also up 12 percent year-over-year to $885 million.
The good news appeared to outweigh Twitter’s profit miss for the three months ended in December. The San Francisco company said it pulled in 25 cents a share last quarter, up 17 percent, but lower than expectations of 29 cents a share.
Shares of Twitter were up 18.2 percent Thursday morning, at $39.42.
Prior to Thursday, the stock had been sagging — down more than 17 percent over the last six months. The drop kicked off in October when Twitter said it has been having problems with a feature that allows advertisers to see how effective their campaigns are — prompting some advertisers to pull back spending, lowering revenue.
Investors also punished the stock in December after Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey revealed plans to move to Africa for as much as six months, starting later this year.
On Thursday, Dorsey appeared to try to head off any questions about his travel plans in his opening remarks, where he talked about making Twitter a more global workforce that will allow anyone, including himself, to work from anywhere.
“We’ll enable anyone, anywhere to work at Twitter,” he said. “Our concentration in San Francisco is not serving us any longer and we will strive to be a far more distributed workforce, which we will use to improve our execution.”
Toward the end of the call a listener then asked Dorsey about his specific travel plans. But he deflected the question by talking, once again, about his plans to let staff work from anywhere.
“We’re reaching a talent pool that expects a lot more remote work, expects to work outside of California and outside of San Francisco, and we should be building our company around that,” he said. “I haven’t made any plans just yet for this year, but I do expect that I will travel and I do think that we need to figure out how to build a company that is distributed, that is not burdened by time zones, but it is advantage by them.
Twitter on Wednesday said it would begin flagging tweets containing manipulated or deceptively edited forms of media with a “false” warning label, and would remove such media if it was likely to cause harm.
Earlier in the quarter it banned political ads, becoming one of the first social network to take a stand on misleading or false information related to political campaigns.
With Post wires