Twitter profit soars as user base shrinks

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Twitter also has room to grow by converting people who use the site infrequently into daily users, she said, which would allow the company to boost its revenue without having to grow its overall user base.

"So, starting this quarter, in addition to sharing the growth in mDAU as we have since 2016, we are disclosing the absolute number of average mDAU (previously referred to as DAU), for both the U.S. and global markets", said Twitter. In fourth-quarter metrics, which included revenue of $909 million and 31 cents earnings per share, Twitter beat analyst expectations.

Monthly active users (MAUs) averaged 321 million in the fourth quarter which represents a decrease of 9 million from previous year.

For the first time Twitter has revealed how many daily active users who write and read tweets on the platform every day.

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The company said there was a 16% year-on-year decrease in reports of abuse on Twitter in 2018.

In fact, as Twitter hunts down violators and eliminates fraudulent accounts, its monthly active user stats are shrinking, and the company plans to stop reporting that figure.

After years of withholding the figure, choosing instead to just share its monthly userbase, Twitter reported what it called "monetizable" daily active users in its fourth-quarter earnings report. "The falloff in monthly active users is likely a continuation of Twitter's efforts to remove questionable accounts", which began last quarter, said Jasmine Enberg, an analyst at the research firm eMarketer. The company's shares increased 35 percent in the past 12 months through Wednesday's close, as investors grew optimistic about Twitter's ability to attract more advertisers to the service, which has benefited from new formats like video.

Jack Dorsey, Twitter's chief executive, said "2018 is proof that our long-term strategy is working".

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Twitter is making more money from its users, though, and it reported a jump in profits by 180 percent year over year to $255 million in the fourth quarter.

In the a year ago, Twitter has focused on safeguarding the service amid scrutiny of its role in spreading fake news and election meddling as well as the broader data privacy backlash hitting the tech industry.

That compares to Facebook's 1.5 billion daily users and Snapchat's 186 million.

The company, however, reported a better-than-expected 24 percent increase in fourth-quarter revenue, helped by growth in its video advertising business.

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