Twitter shares dropped by more than 10% after the company announced that its fourth quarter losses had increased significantly. Compared to 2015, the reported loss in the final months of 2016 almost doubled, reaching a total of $167 million (£133 million). This places the company amongst the heaviest fallers on Wall Street. The number of active users was barely down at 319 million, compared to a year earlier when it was 4% up at 320 million. Twitter’s revenue from advertising fell slightly to $638 million.
Executives from the social network said that US President Donald Trump’s heavy use of Twitter was good for the business. “The president’s use of Twitter has broadened the awareness of how the platform can be used,” Twitter CFO Anthony Noto said during the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call with investors. “It shows the power of Twitter.” However, he also admitted that it was hard for “an event or a single person” to make such a difference. Statistics indicate that Trump’s ardent use of the social media platform has done little to boost its users or advertising income. It was also reported that this is the company’s slowest quarterly revenue growth since it became a publicly listed company in November 2013.
However, while Trump has not stopped the downturn in Twitter’s business, his constant stream of tweets highlights what its CEO Jack Dorsey called Twitter’s ‘superpower’ earlier in his interview. “The superpower we really provide the world is we can break news and get information faster to people than any other service in the world,” he said.