Twitter’s 14% year-on-year revenue growth in Q2 to $841 million was largely driven by the US. As for users, the company’s new metric for measuring them, monetizable daily active users, increased 14% YoY by 17 million to 139 million this quarter; this growth was largely driven by markets outside the US. Twitter didn’t break this out by geography, but saw broad-based DAU growth internationally, according to CFO Ned Segal. He said Twitter looks at the 14% user growth as the the “cumulative benefit” of the last few years of work in relevance, to make Twitter more conversational, to make discovering better.
Noting that international markets drove user growth this quarter, Segal said “… 80% of the people who use Twitter are outside of the US and so that will continue to be a big focus area for us, but it’s not different things that we’re doing in those countries. It’s the same work that ought to benefit people, all over the world.” DAU growth came from previous users who returned and got a better product experience, and also from new users. The aim is to make both kinds of users stay on with by showing more relevant topics and events.
Revenue and ads
- US revenue increased by 24% YoY to $455 million, and international revenue increased by 12% to $386 million.
- Revenue from Twitter’s second largest market, Japan, grew by 65% YoY.
- Twitter’s most important market is the US, with US sales growing by 24% to $455 million, which is a little over half its revenue this quarter. International sales grew by 12% in comparison.
- Advertising made up 86% of the company’s revenue this quarter, total ad revenue was up 21% to $727 million. Data licensing, the other component of Twitter’s business model, was $114 million, up just 4%.
- US ad revenue shot up by 29% to $379 million, making up half of the total ad revenue.
- By product, video ad formats continued to show strength, notably from Video Website Card, In-Stream Video Ads, and First View ads.
Platform health: ‘When will your work on help drive growth, instead of weighing it down?’ asks investor
Health continued to improve, there was a 18% fall in reports of spammy or suspicious behaviour, the company said. Twitter also expanded its rules against hateful conduct this quarter, to include religion-based dehumanising content.
An investor asked Twitter whether its health work had reached a point where it drove user growth instead of weighing it down. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said health is going to be a “number one priority for quite some time”. There been focus on proactively identifying content over the past year, the company has made progress on how to make reporting bad behaviour easier, by both victims and bystanders. He said:
A lot of this is a focus on building more technology to address the problems, and I have a lot of confidence that we have a lot of great work ahead of us that we’ll continue to — that we’ll continue to leverage to help that situation. I do believe that health is going to be an ongoing initiative for us. I do believe, it’s going to be our number one priority for quite some time.
We are moving much, much faster on the health initiative, but that’s also allowing us to move much faster within consumer, and within our revenue products as well.
Dealing with elections
When asked about its work for the 2020 US Presidential elections, Dorsey said Twitter’s priorities during elections were to identify forms of manipulation used to amplify misleading information, increase transparency around ad purchases and targeting, and challenge suspicious logins and account creation. “We do see, obviously, a lot of conversation around news and politics around the Democratic debates, and we believe that Twitter has an important role to carry these conversations and to help people learn about what’s unfolding within all other countries”
Twitter is focusing on live video and real-time updates around sporting events like Olympics, Women’s World Cups, and also political events like the US Democratic debates. When it comes to video, ” … content owners, where leagues are seeing how they can leverage Twitter differently than they can in other service” since Twitter is conversational when its live.