Twitter saw an 18% increase in ad revenue year-over-year, generating $679 million during the first quart of 2019 according to its earnings report released on Tuesday. Total revenue was also up 18% year-over-year at $787 million.
“We’ve never been more confident in our strategy and execution and see a great opportunity to grow our audience and deliver even more value for advertisers,” said Twitter CFO Ned Segal.
Ad engagements moving in the right direction Twitter reported total ad engagements were up 23% percent year-over-year during the first quarter, with cost-per-engagement down 4%.
Aaron Goldman, CMO for the social advertising platform 4C, noted the first quarter of the year is an important time period for Twitter with major media events like the Super Bowl and Oscars driving second-screen conversations.
“The fact that [Twitter’s] performance was so strong shows that it also benefited from outsized budget allocation in the annual planning cycle,” said Goldman, “In particular, we’re seeing great success with video on Twitter and our advertisers are adopting these formats as a core part of their cross-channel mix. For Q1 2019, we saw double-digit increases year-over-year on Twitter video ad budgets.”
Twitter’s “new” user metric. This is the last quarter Twitter is reporting its MAUs (monthly active users), instead focusing on a new metric which it introduced earlier this year: monetized daily active users or mDAU. From a year ago, mDAUs increased by 14 million to 134 million in the first quarter of 2019, with 28 million in the U.S., Twitter reported.
Globally, Twitter’s monthly active users (MAUs) were down year-over-year from 336 million to 330 million. U.S. MAUs remained relatively flat year-over-year for the quarter, declining from 69 million to 68 million this year.
Twitter accounts the slide in MAUs to its efforts to improve the health of the platform, claiming: “…metrics may be impacted by our information quality efforts, which are our overall efforts to reduce malicious activity on the service, inclusive of spam, malicious automation, and fake accounts.”
“We are taking a more proactive approach to reducing abuse and its effects on Twitter. We are reducing the burden on victims and, where possible, taking action before abuse is reported,” said Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in Twitter’s earnings report announcement.
Why we should care. Twitter is continuing to put its focus on removing spam and reducing abuse on the platform, and by extension, aiming to improve brand safety. With ad engagement up and cost-per-engagement down, advertisers who have been slow to allocate social media ad spend on Twitter may decide to give it another look.
“The platform is seeming ever more attractive to advertisers looking for high return on spend,” said Rakuten Marketing’s managing director for EMEA, Anthony Capano, “As long as it’s in brand safe environments that have the ability to reach new and global audiences, then why not test?”
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