Twitter slipped into the red during Q1, as higher costs offset user growth which contributed to an overall increase in revenue.
In a statement, the company highlighted a 24 per cent year-on-year increase in the number of monetisable daily active users, up to 166 million by the end-March compared with 134 million in Q1 2019.
Referring to the Covid-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, CEO Jack Dorsey said in “this difficult time Twitter’s purpose is proving more vital than ever” by keeping people informed and connected.
Going forward, he outlined retaining new customers would be a priority for the social media company.
A net loss of US$8.4 million in the opening quarter was Twitter’s first since Q3 2017: in Q1 2019 it generated a profit of US$190.8 million.
Twitter noted an 18 per cent rise in costs and expenses to US$815.1 million, and a “rapid change in advertising behaviour”, which impacted the metric during March. However, across the quarter, ad revenue increased from US$679.5 million to US$682.2 million.
Overall revenue was up 2.6 per cent to US$807.6 million.
Twitter’s CFO, Ned Segal noted the current environment generated “even more urgency around delivering more direct response ad formats”.
But it declined to offer guidance for the current quarter, citing uncertain market conditions due to the pandemic.
The Q1 loss could increase pressure on Dorsey, who recently faced questions regarding his leadership, which reportedly included a call from activist investor Elliott Management for the CEO to be removed as part of a broader shake-up of the business. Mobile World Live