Twitter falls by $6bn after losing 1m users

Twitter share price tumbles after it loses 1m users in three months

Chief Executive Jack Dorsey said in a statement that daily users grew 11 percent compared to a year ago, showing that addressing "problem behaviors" was turning the service into a daily utility.

A Washington Post report put the total number of suspended accounts in May and June at 70 million.

Twitter escalated its battle against suspicious accounts late previous year in the face of congressional and public pressure following revelations about how Russian Federation used the platform to spread disinformation to shape the 2016 presidential campaign in favour of Republican Donald Trump and against Democrat Hillary Clinton.

But, investors focused on the company's report that it is losing users, and expects this trend will continue.

Twitter share price tumbles after it loses 1m users in three months
Twitter stocks dive 20% as users drop by a million

The decline came despite Twitter's simultaneous announcement that its revenue is up a whopping 24 percent this year, and posted a record profit of $100 million. The consensus estimate from analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters was for EPS of 17 cents, and revenue of $696.2 million.

Twitter's dip in user numbers renewed old concerns that its audience will be forever stalled around the 300 million mark. The number of users could also decline in the third quarter, Twitter warned.

Twitter's losses followed "Facebook Thursday" - a catastrophic day in the history of Facebook.

"Efforts by the company to eliminate inauthentic accounts - even large numbers - should be viewed positively because these efforts improve Twitter's position with regulators and with advertisers, who see the user base as higher quality when purges occur", said Brian Wieser, an analyst at Pivotal Research, in a note to investors.

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Twitter said it has been purging offending accounts, which led to many users seeing drops in their official follower counts, but it said a lot of them were inactive already and wouldn't impact monthly user numbers. They were all attacked by foreign fraudsters during the 2016 USA election looking to disrupt the online discourse and spread fake news.

As part of these efforts, Twitter said that as of May, its systems identified and challenged more than 9 million accounts per week that were potentially spam or automated, up from 6.4 million in December 2017.

Facebook and Twitter both reported disappointing user metrics this week and warned of a further slowdown ahead. Markets outside the U.S. grew 44% year on year to $344 million.

Twitter shares have risen 79 percent since the beginning of the year.

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Twitter has said increased video programming, including news shows and live sports, and investing in technology that automatically surfaces interesting content with limited user intervention should make the service appealing to first-timers.

Dorsey told analysts Twitter had a "solid quarter" and suggested that daily usage was a better measure of its future growth.

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