Twitter Q3 2020 revenue smashes estimates with $936 million as user growth slows

Twitter has reported strong revenue growth for Q3 2020, while its monetizable users also grew year-on-year (YoY) even though they fell short of estimates. The social networking giant announced its most recent financial and user metrics this afternoon, breaking a longstanding tradition that has typically seen Twitter announce its financials before the market opens.

The day after CEO Jack Dorsey faced a grilling from the U.S. Senate over how social media companies moderate content, Twitter revealed revenues of $936 million — a  year-on-year (YoY) increase of 14% on the $824 million reported last year and a quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) increase of 37% on the $686 million for Q2 2020.

In the earnings press release, Twitter CFO Ned Segal noted that its revenue hike was significantly down to advertisers increasing their spend during the quarter, having held back in previous quarters due to the global pandemic.

In terms of users, Twitter reported 187 million monetizable daily users (mDAUs), representing a 29% YoY increase on the 145 million it reported for Q3 2019. However, the figure was only a fraction up on the previous quarter’s 186 million. Twitter stopped reporting its overall monthly active users last year, choosing instead to focus on the mDAU metric, which it defines as individuals who log in through or any of the mobile apps that are able to show advertisements. This excludes those who don’t log in, or who use TweetDeck or other third-party clients.

As with the previous quarter, Twitter hadn’t provided any revenue guidance ahead of its Q3 2020 financials due to the impact of COVID-19, but analysts had expected a sharp spike in mDAUs, similar to the previous quarter, and revenue to fall, mostly due to the impact the global pandemic has had on advertising budgets. More specifically, Twitter’s revenue for the quarter had been pegged at roughly $775 million, while mDAUs had been estimated to reach more than 196 million.

Twitter’s shares are sitting roughly at double the value of what they were at back in March, hitting a five-year high of more than $52 this week. However, off the back of its lower-than-expected user growth, its shares plunged up to 12% in after hours trading.

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