Mobile Commerce

Twitter Whiffs On Ad Revenue


In the age of sky-high valuations, brands will look anywhere for hard numbers that prove they’re actually worth what they say they are. Twitter learned this the hard way when it first went public, and new numbers might take away yet another place to look for answers.

On an earnings call Tuesday (April 26), Twitter executives announced that the company’s ad revenue for Q1 clocked in at $510 million. While that’s a solid number on its own, and actually reflects a 31-percent rise in year-over-year growth, the $510 million plus $84 million in non-advertising revenue fell short of the figure Twitter had originally forecast.

“Brand spend didn’t grow as quickly as we expected,” Adam Bain, Twitter COO, said during the call, via Internet Retailer.

Twitter did key in on several other positive results — monthly active users increased from 305 million in 2015 Q4 to 310 million in Q1, a 2.6-percent rise year over year. Its net losses also decreased from $162.4 million a year ago to $79.7 million as of Q1.

With ad revenue such an obvious source of income for the company, Bain brainstormed on the call how Twitter might look at new features to make it a more attractive platform for advertisers.

“These are features like demographic targeting and validation, [gross point rating] and [target rating points,], targeting and reporting,” Bain said. “So, it’s a function of putting these features in place. We believe that we can tap into incremental video budgets when we put those features in place.”

Driving more ad traffic to timelines is going to be an increasingly tough sell as Facebook and others continue down the path toward livestreaming products that continue to rack up views if just for the novelty of it. However, with some strategic partnerships that leverage social commerce on the horizon, Twitter might be able to realize its ad revenue dreams.


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