With the global pandemic and everyone stuck in their homes, Twitter reported another quarter of record user growth of 186 million daily users. This is a 34% increase compared to the same quarter last year, and also the largest year-over-year jump in growth ever since the platform first started reporting this metric back in 2016.
The increase in user numbers is most likely a result of consumer demand for news. However, this momentum is not going to be easy to maintain once all of the shelter-in-place measures lift as lockdowns ease around the world. During this quarter, Twitter managed to add 20 million daily new users.
However, in the midst of the global marketing retraction with businesses pulling back on spending, the advertising business has been on a decline. Although Facebook was the main target of the social media boycott, many big advertisers ended up pausing their advertisement spending on other platforms, including Twitter. In fact, the second quarter’s global advertisement sales declined by 23%, to $562 million, compared to the previous year.
While there were no forecasts for the third quarter or much information about the cut on advertising spending for the month of July, Twitter did state that the advertisement revenue was down 15% during the last three weeks of June. However, the company is also optimistic about the ad growth, considering the return of events such as live sports, that tend to drive consumers to the platform.
The platform is currently exploring other options and additional business lines, and that includes a possibility in offering its users subscriptions as a way to supplement the loss from advertising, which currently makes up over 82% of the total revenue for Twitter. While the business confirmed the reports that it was considering adding subscriptions, this option is still in the very early stages of exploration.
The company stated that this is just one of the several options it was considering to implement, including commerce, and stated that all other revenue streams would have to be complementing the existing ad business whenever they end up being implemented.
Twitter also ended up acknowledging the service’s high-profile hack earlier in the month, and stated that the business is working with law enforcement “as they conduct their investigations.” The platform has now implemented safeguards in order to improve the security of the internal systems.
Earlier this month, hackers succeeded in using phishing techniques against some of the company’s employees, where they ended up gaining access to about 130 accounts. Some of these accounts were by famous users such as Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Kanye West, and Bill Gates, and sent out tweets of a Bitcoin scam to their millions of followers. According to the review of the hack, the attackers also managed to access direct messages of about 36 of these users’ accounts, including the messages of one elected official from the Netherlands.