A fall in advertising revenue and an increase in the number of users marked the second quarter of Twitter, which also promised Wednesday to shed light on the massive hacking that targeted the accounts of American personalities last week.
Cash inflows from advertising, which represent the main source of revenue for Twitter, plummeted 23% on an annual basis, continuing the plunge in the first quarter, already marked by the consequences of the new coronavirus pandemic.
Between April and June, the group’s revenues fell 19% to $ 683 million (EUR 590 million) compared to the same period last year. This is below what Wall Street expected.
“We have seen a gradual and moderate recovery from March levels throughout Q2, with the exception of late May to early June, when many brands slowed or halted spending in response to social unrest in the United States, “the group said in a statement.
A vast movement of protests against racism and police violence followed the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American suffocated by a white police officer, in late May in Minneapolis.
Over the quarter, Twitter recorded a net loss of $ 1.23 billion (EUR 1.06 billion), a figure that is largely explained by the deferred payment of more than 1 billion in taxes.
But if the pandemic and social upheavals weigh on advertising, they are on the other hand conducive to the attraction of new users. Twitter posted an impressive 34% year-over-year growth in its daily “monetizable” users, which reached 186 million people.
This is the strongest annual increase since the company established this metric.
Twitter considers its users who may be exposed to advertising on its platform or its applications as “monetizable”.
This quarterly increase was made possible by “global discussions around current events and continuous product improvement,” said the group.
The Black Lives Matter movement, the Covid-19 pandemic as well as the reopening or re-containment of economies across the world were among the most debated topics on the platform.
According to Jasmine Enberg, analyst for the firm eMarketer, “growth in the number of Twitter users accelerated in the second quarter as consumers confined to their homes continued to use the platform to follow coronavirus news and other news. . ”
On Wall Street, Twitter action rose 2.6% shortly before the stock market opened.
– Excuses –
In a conference call with analysts, Jack Dorsey, the boss of Twitter, also expressed contrition over the recent cyberattack that targeted the certified accounts of Barack Obama, Elon Musk, Bill Gates and others. celebrities.
“We have been lagging behind, both in protecting ourselves from social engineering attacks by our employees and in imposing restrictions on our internal tools,” Dorsey said.
“For this, I apologize on behalf of the company. We responded quickly with a lockdown, sought to be transparent and shared frequent information with the public,” he continued.
Twitter added to collaborate fully with federal agencies and outside companies leading the hack investigation.
The group acknowledged on Wednesday evening that for 36 of the 130 accounts attacked, hackers had access to instant messaging, adding to the severity of the incident.