Twitter's quarterly monthly active user (MAU) count rose 9 million to reach 330 million from the previous quarter. Photo: AP

INTERNATIONAL – Twitter yesterday posted better-than-expected first-quarter revenue and a surprise rise in the number of monthly active users, a sign that the social media platform may be on a sustainable path after a year of stagnant user growth. 

The company's quarterly monthly active user (MAU) count rose 9 million to reach 330 million from the previous quarter, while analysts on average had expected 318.8 million, a loss of 2.2 million users, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. 

Twitter, focusing on improving the quality of its platform by removing thousands of spam and suspicious accounts, would no longer disclose MAUs from next quarter. 

Instead, it plans to only provide the number of “monetisable” daily active users, a metric the company created to measure only users exposed to advertising on a daily basis. Monetisable daily active users or MDAU rose to 134 million in the first quarter, up 12 percent from a year ago, Twitter said. 

For the first quarter of 2019, Twitter’s revenue rose 18 percent from a year ago to $787 million, surpassing Wall Street expectations of $776.1 million (R11.22 billion). 

Revenue was boosted by ad sales that jumped 18 percent to $679 million. US ad revenue rose by 26 percent year on year. Twitter expects revenue to reach $770m to $830m, compared with $819.5m estimated by analysts polled by Refinitiv. 

Reuters