Social media company Twitter released its fourth quarter earnings today, and inside the report was a number that the company had never released before.
The number of average monetizable daily active users rose to 126 million in the fourth quarter from 115 million a year ago and 124 million in the previous quarter.
Chief executive Jack Dorsey said the results were "proof that our long-term strategy is working". "There's plenty of room for more growth there as well, with Twitter's DAUs making up under half of MAUs".
Twitter also reported monthly active users (MAU) at 321 million during the fourth quarter of 2018, which is down five million from the MAUs reported during the third quarter of 2018, and almost 10 million less than the 330 million MAUs on the app in the last quarter of 2017. It was the fourth quarter running in which Twitter's user numbers declined. Twitter's daily user count, which it calls monetizable daily active users (mDAU), includes only those customers to which it can show ads, because they log into its own website or apps, rather than accessing Twitter through a third-party service or app.
Increased spending is a common theme across social media companies, including Facebook and Google, as they double down on efforts to clean up their respective platforms, Summit Insights analyst Jonathan Kees said.
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CFRA Equity Research Director Scott Kessler on Twitter's fourth-quarter results and outlook.
".growth was impacted by ongoing health efforts in Q4, both due to how we resourced and prioritized our work and the impact from ongoing success removing spammy and suspicious accounts". With Twitter's total ad engagements surging 50% and cost per engagement sinking 14% throughout Q3, the platform is seeming ever more attractive to advertisers looking for high return on spend.
Markets also appeared unsettled by a weaker-than-expected revenue outlook for the current quarter and rising expenses.
Twitter shares dropped as much as 10 percent Thursday after the social network said it would stop reporting its closely watched - and usually lackluster - monthly active user metrics.
Twitter will continue to disclose their daily active user count but will no longer provide data on monthly numbers. The total $791 million in ad revenue reflected a 23 percent year-over-year increase. And as others have been ready to point out, 126 million daily users is a figure not only crushed by Facebook but even beaten by Snapchat - a platform understood to be on less than stable footing for several years - which was listed as having 186 daily users in Snap's own Q4 earnings report. Towards the end of 2018, Twitter revealed a host of content partnerships including Bloomberg, Sony Music and NBCUniversal that would bring hundreds of hours of livestreams and other videos to the platform in the Asia-Pacific region.