Twitter sees jump in user base amid US election turmoil

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – Twitter said on Tuesday its user base jumped to 192 million in the quarter marked by United States (US) presidential election turmoil and a battle against misinformation.

Ranks of “monetisable” daily active Twitter users rose 27 per cent from a year earlier during the fourth quarter, which ended just days before former US president Donald Trump was booted from the service.

Chief executive Jack Dorsey said the San Francisco platform remained focussed on “promoting healthier conversations for those who use our service”.

Twitter and Facebook suspended Trump in early January over posts accused of inflaming violence in the US Capitol, as social media scrambled to respond to mayhem by supporters buying into his baseless attacks on the integrity of the election.

The unprecedented sanctions came after the president took to social media to repeat his numerous false claims about fraud and other impropriety in the election he lost to Joe Biden.

File photo shows a sign outside of the Twitter office building in San Francisco. PHOTO: AP

Twitter suspended Trump during a social media crackdown that came after Trump’s supporters stormed the US Capitol in a deadly siege, interrupting congressional debate over Biden’s election victory.

Twitter reported profit nearly doubled from a year earlier to USD222 million on revenue that soared 28 per cent to a record USD1.29 billion.

“2020 was an extraordinary year for Twitter,” Dorsey said.

“We are more proud than ever to serve the public conversation, especially in these unprecedented times.”

The results sparked a modest uptick in shares of Twitter, which has been working to boost advertising as it seeks to broaden its base beyond its core audience of celebrities, journalists and politicians.

“Twitter caps off a turbulent 2020 with a strong performance,” eMarketer analyst Nazmul Islam said of the quarterly results that beat market expectations.