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Twitter reports $758M in revenues driven by video ads in Q3FY18


Twitter reported 326 million MAUs in Q3FY18, 67 million MAUs from the US (68 million in Q2’18; 69 million in Q3 2017) and 259 million MAUs internationally (267 million in Q2’18; 260 million in Q3 2017), the company said in its earnings report. This represented a 4 million YoY decrease and 9 million QOQ decrease.

The MAUs were impacted by GDPR, not pursuing paid SMS carrier partnerships in certain markets and product change, a technical issue which reduced the number of notifications sent, along with other factors.

Twitter’s CFO Ned Segal said that 2 million people who have not been on Twitter for a month or more come to the platform daily – a third of these have never been on Twitter before, and that it sees that as an opportunity to “help them find what they’re looking for faster so that they will stay longer and come back more frequently.”

User metrics: DAUs 

  • DAUs grew 9% YoY (double digit growth in 5 out of top 10 global markets) organically, because of marketing and product changes. Twitter also removed spammy and suspicious accounts. These sign ups, it said, tend to be more prevalent on web (as opposed to mobile).
  • There was a YoY decline in the DAUs which access web Twitter, but users using Twitter on both mobile and web only grew double digits on a YoY basis.
  • Twitter’s DAU/MAU ratio remains below 50%. It said that spammy and suspicious accounts represented less than 5% of MAU in Q3.


Twitter’s total revenues were $758 million for the quarter, up 29% YoY for this quarter. This was excluding $7 million of TellApart revenue in Q3 of 2017 (its final quarter with reported revenue).

  • Advertising revenues were $650 million ($503 million in the same quarter last year)
  • Owned and operated (O&O) advertising revenue was $617 million, an increase of 36%.
  • Non-O&O advertising revenue was $33 million, a decrease of 31%.
  • Data licensing and other revenues were $108 million ($87 million in the same quarter last year), an increase of 25%.
  • Total US revenue was $423 million, an increase of 28%.
  • Total international revenue was $335 million, an increase of 30%.
  • $6 billion in cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities
  • Capex was $117 million, compared to $64 million in Q3’17
  • Net margin of 14% and adjusted EBITDA margin of 39% of $295 million, up from $207 million in Q3’17
  • Adjusted free cash flow was $327 million, compared to $176 million in Q3’17, driven in part by a “one-time refund of prepaid employment taxes of $119M.”
  • Japan remains Twitter’s second largest market, growing 44% and contributing $130 million in Q3.

Video ads drove revenues

  • Video ad formats drove more than 50% of the ad revenues, where “video website card” is the format of choice
  • The World Cup generated $20 million in revenues in Q3
  • Large to mid tier sales channel customers make a ‘sizeable majority’ of its ad revenues
  • More growth opportunities in the self serve channel used by smaller and local businesses

Twitter plans to grow its employee base by 10-15% by year end. It added 240 people to its team in Q3.

Ad metrics

  • Ad engagements increased 50%, CTR grew YoY
  • CPE decreased 14% because of ‘mix shift to video ad engagements’

Other updates

  • 20% QoQ decrease in sign ups of automated, spammy, or malicious accounts because of new techniques (requiring email ID or phone number to confirm etc.)
  • For elections, Twitter’s updates include “providing clearer guidance around attributed activity* and the distribution of hacked materials, as well as updates to our rules to better reflect how we identify fake accounts, and what types of inauthentic activity violate our guidelines, along with improvements to our detection and enforcement methodologies.”
  • Added support for US TV shows

Working on context

Jack Dorsey, co-founder and CEO said, “Typically, Twitter has felt fairly mechanical to a lot of folks. So if I’m interested in basketball, for instance, I have to go and find all the associated accounts with basketball…. So we think we can do a much better job by understanding someone’s interest, understanding someone’s contexts… and then matching them to the best conversations immediately…. But ultimately, we want to expand the action of follow much more broadly to…And all that’s coming through our work on relevance.”

Download: Financials | Presentation | All documents

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