Millions flock to platform

Twitter reports £940m loss despite surge in users

Dundas monument Melville Street

The Black Lives Matter protests drew more users to Twitter (pic: Terry Murden)

Twitter drew millions more users in the last quarter because of the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests, but the social media plunged to a loss as advertisers reined in spending. 

The social media platform saw daily usage leap by 34% from 139 users 186m in the three months to the end of June compared with the same period last year.

It was the biggest quarterly rise in Twitter’s history, but it failed to translate into rising income. The pandemic caused advertisers to pull back on spending, plunging the US company to an overall loss of £940m for the quarter, compared with an £870m profit the previous year.

Revenue was down 27% the last three weeks of March and from £662m to £537m over the quarter.  That was below Wall Street expectations of £552m. As well as the impact of the virus, it was also hit by an £857m tax charge.

The results were accompanied by an apology from founder Jack Dorsey for an embarrassing incident last week that saw hackers tweet from the accounts of politicians and business leaders including Elon Musk, Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Kim Kardashian and Kayne West.

In a call with analysts, Mr Dorsey said: “Last week was a really tough week for all of us at Twitter.”  

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