Twitter surges as global user growth revives

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Twitter shares jumped on Thursday after an update showing it added millions of new users and boosted ad revenue in the fourth quarter, sparking optimism over its growth prospects.

The social media group said it ended the year with 152 million “monetisable” daily active users – its preferred measure of its base – up 21 per cent from a year earlier.

Net profit fell by half from a year ago to USD119 million but revenue rose 11 per cent to top USD1 billion, Twitter said in its quarterly update.

Chief Executive Jack Dorsey said the results capped “a great year for Twitter” and that Twitter has been able to boost users by making the service “more instantly relevant”.

“This is an incredibly strong foundation to build upon,” he told analysts in a conference call. Shares in Twitter surged 15 per cent to close at USD38.04 on the news.

The latest report suggested Twitter is making headway as it seeks to keep pace with bigger social networks like Facebook and Instagram while it works to filter out abuse and manipulation.

Analyst Michael Levine at Pivotal Research Group said the results showed strong momentum for Twitter and that it will have more growth opportunities this year from the 2020 US elections and Olympic Games.

The logo for Twitter is displayed above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. PHOTO:AP