Twitter's share price dropped almost 20 percent after the earnings report, matching a similar decline in Facebook's stock after its earnings report showed challenges ahead, partly a result of confronting toxic elements, too. Twitter is "improving the health of the system while there's still dramatic DAU growth to come". The number of monthly users could also decline by "mid-single-digit millions" in the third quarter, Twitter warned.
Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) on Friday said it lost 1 million monthly active users from the previous quarter and warned the closely watched figure could keep falling as it deletes more phony accounts, causing the biggest one-day decline in its shares since 2016.
Following the report, company's stock fell as much as 14 percent in pre-market trading. The company, however, said the vast majority of malicious accounts are inactive or caught before they become counted among active users.
Global revenue grew 44 percent in the quarter from a year earlier while sales in the USA, the company's largest market, increased 10 percent.
The user outlook came as Twitter reported higher-than-expected revenue thanks to the FIFA World Cup, video ads and booming global ad revenue.
"We want people to feel safe freely expressing themselves and have launched new tools to address problem behaviours that distort and distract from the public conversation", chief executive officer Jack Dorsey said in a prepared statement.
Still, Twitter's loss of even one million monthly users shook investors.
"We are making active decisions to prioritize health initiatives over near-term product improvements that may drive more usage of Twitter as a daily utility", the company said in a shareholder letter accompanying the results. Monthly user rates dropped from 336 million to 335 million, quarter over quarter. The company does not disclose daily users.
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Twitter's market value dropped by more than $6 billion Friday, to around $26 billion.
Revenue rose 24% to $711 million.
Cracking down on hate, abuse and online trolls is also hurting Twitter's standing with investors.
Both Twitter and Facebook moved to crack down on bots and fake accounts after learning of efforts to manipulate the social platforms during the 2016 USA presidential election.
Twitter's stock dropped more than Facebook's, but Twitter has a significantly lower market cap than Facebook, so the impact was far less extreme. The Associated Press also found that Twitter suspended 56 million such accounts in the last quarter of 2017.
Over the past several months, the company said it's been more aggressively removing accounts that violate its rules.
Twitter reported second quarter financial results on Friday that topped estimates, but like Facebook earlier this week, its stock price went tumbling with the disclosure of unsatisfactory user numbers.