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Twitter now has 288 million MAUs globally; On Working with ZipDial, third-party relations & more


Twitter currently has over 288 million monthly active users globally, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo informed during the company’s Q4 2014 earnings conference call. USA now accounts for only 21.9% of Twitter’s MAUs. The company also mentioned that an internal review conducted of a sample of Twitter accounts revealed that spam accounts represented less than 5% of the MAUs. Twitter added 4 million new users during the quarter. Note that this number represents new registered users and not necessarily active users.

Twitter MAU

On Working with ZipDial: Twitter is working with Bangalore-based mobile marketing & analytics platform ZipDial to offer users content related to the ICC Cricket World Cup that starts in less than a week’s time. Costolo mentioned that users with feature phones or smartphones and even those that don’t have Twitter accounts will be able to access this content. Though Costolo didn’t provide any further details, it seems to be something similar to the new ad unit Facebook had started testing with ZipDial earlier last year. Users had to place miss calls on a given number and in return were provided content like cricket scores and celebrity messages among others. In this case it seems the content to be offered to users will be photos, audio & video commentary clips, etc.

Last month, Twitter had acquired ZipDial for an undisclosed amount. Post acquisition, ZipDial team was said to be joining Twitter India and the company had mentioned that ZipDial would be provided with a new engineering office in Bangalore as well. At the time, Twitter had said that this acquisition will allow them to make content more accessible to everyone.

On third-party relationships: Costolo mentioned that Twitter is currently looking at two types of third-party relations. Firstly, are deals like the one Twitter recently announced with Flipboard and Yahoo Japan, that Twitter uses to distribute content on third-party platforms and monetize it. Secondly, are deals like the one they have recently signed with Google, that drive traffic and distribute traffic to Twitter’s logged out homepage experience. Logged out homepage experience is basically a new feature Twitter is experimenting with that provides users a snapshot of their timeline even when they are logged out.

Vine vs. Twitter video: Answering an analyst question Costolo mentioned that Twitter video was created to provide users the same instantaneous experience with videos that they have with tweets. The simplicity of the capture and share capability was a priority. In case of Vine, Costolo views it more as creative platform, and believes it’s complementary to the Twitter video experience. He also mentioned that professional video tools available on Twitter are targeted towards not just brands/marketers but also towards users and content creators who want to monetize their content and are looking to distribute videos longer than 30 seconds on the platform.

Operational highlights

– Earlier this month, Twitter tied-up with news application Flipboard and Yahoo Japan to syndicate promoted tweets on these platforms, to allow advertisers to reach people who are not on Twitter itself.

– The company also confirmed it will be opening an R&D facility in Bangalore, India, following the acquisition of ZipDial.

– Twitter introduced group Direct Messages to its platform and introduced features to capture, edit and share videos via its mobile app, in January this year.

– In the same month, the company had appointed Taranjeet Singh as the Head of Sales for its India operations. Singh will be responsible for finding commercial opportunities for Twitter in India, and to work with brands and agencies to optimize real-time marketing.

Twitter - Ad Revenue

Twitter Financials

The company reported revenues of $479 million for the quarter, up 97% year-on-year (YoY). Twitter’s ad revenues stood at $432 million for the quarter, also up 97% YoY. Ad revenues accounted for 90.2% of Twitter’s overall revenues in Q4 2014. Twitter CFO Anthony Noto mentioned that the growth in ad revenues was primarily driven by increase in the number of advertisers and average revenue per advertiser across each channel and geography. US, Japan and Canada were the largest contributors to ad revenues in terms of geography.

Download: Press Release | Conference CallPresentation

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