Twitter’s Ad Revenue Crumbles As Usage Climbs

İstanbul, Turkey - February 10, 2019: Woman using smart phone on a couch. The smart phone is an iPhone 8 displaying Twitter application.  iPhone is a touchscreen smartphone developed by Apple Inc.

Twitter’s advertising business took a hit in Q2, falling 23 per cent as the social media network continues to feel the impact of COVID-19.

The company first experienced a fall in advertising revenue at the beginning of the pandemic, where it saw a 27 per cent decline in ad revenue in the last three weeks of March.

During Q2 Twitter “saw a gradual, moderate recovery”.

This was disrupted by the civic unrest in late-May to mid-June, where brands paused their ad spend once more as the Black Lives Matter protests took full effect.

During the last three weeks of June, advertising revenue declined 15 per cent year over year. Demand for advertising has “gradually improved” since.

However, the dip in advertising revenue is an indication that the well-documented Facebook advertiser boycott will have ramifications across all social media platforms.

Global brands such as The Coca-Cola Company, Starbucks and Diageo paused advertising across all social media platforms – not just Facebook – in response to the #StopHateforProfit campaign.

Despite the decline in ad revenue, user growth on Twitter has actually increased in recent months.

The company grew to 186 million daily users, up from 166 million the prior quarter, reflecting the largest year-over-year growth since Twitter started reporting daily users in 2019.

With its advertising business struggling, Twitter is on the lookout for new ways to monetise its audience.

Earlier this month it was revealed Twitter was planning a new subscription service, after a job ad was shared around the internet.

Twitter confirmed the project was in the works in its latest results.

“We are also in the early stages of exploring additional potential revenue product opportunities to complement our advertising business,” the company said.

“These may include subscriptions and other approaches, and although our exploration is very early and we do not expect any revenue attributable to these opportunities in 2020, you may see tests or hear us talk more about them as our work progresses.”

The latest results follow a large-scale hack on the platform last week, which saw Twitter deactivate verified accounts in a desperate bid to shutdown a celebrity cryptocurrency scam.


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