Wednesday 22 August 2018

Video ads help Twitter to second-quarter profit

American singer Katy Perry is Twitter’s most followed person, with 109 million followers. Photo: Danny Moloshok
American singer Katy Perry is Twitter’s most followed person, with 109 million followers. Photo: Danny Moloshok

Ramon Salazar

Twitter has reported its second profitable quarter and topped Wall Street estimates for revenue and monthly active users, as advertisers in Asia and other markets outside the US embraced its video ads.

San Francisco-based Twitter has tried to grow its user base and ad business internationally. US President Donald Trump has kept the social media service in the headlines domestically but growth has been faster abroad, including a boost in Asia in the most recent quarter.

International sales accounted for 48pc of revenue, growing 53pc year-over-year, compared with 2pc in the US. Total revenue rose 21pc.

The social media sector is under intense pressure from lawmakers around the globe for inflaming political debates, allowing abusive language and failing to safeguard data.

While there have been few signs that users have abandoned social media, the firms face rising costs in the face of new regulation and to cut abuse and misuse of their sites.

Twitter said it expected to grow headcount 10pc to 15pc in 2018, hiring people to improve the "health" of discussions on Twitter and meet other priorities.

Revenue growth for the remainder of 2018 will be similar to the slower rates of 2016, the company said, adding that second-half growth would face difficult comparisons to a strong performance in late 2017.

Up to Tuesday's close, Twitter shares had risen 26.9pc this year, compared with a 1.5pc decline in the S&P 500 Index. (Reuters)

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