Twitter Inc.’s monthly active usage hovered at 320 million in the fourth quarter — on par with third-quarter usage — but the microblogging platform is working to build its base and draw in advertisers.
Net losses for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31 narrowed to $90.2 million, or 13 cents a diluted share, from $125.4 million, or 20 cents, a year earlier. But adjusted earnings rose 44.5 percent to $114.6 million, or 16 cents a share. And revenues shot up 48 percent to $710.5 million from $479.1 million.
For the full year, Twitter logged net losses of $521 million on sales of $2.22 billion.
Twitter, which has taken steps to make sure users see the best tweets at the top of their feeds, said its fourth-quarter advertising business was solid, with particular strength in video ads.
The company said it’s striving to boost its ad business by building a “rich canvas” for marketers, driving return on investment with improved measurement of ad performance and increasing scale.
The company said: “We made meaningful progress in [the fourth quarter] to expand our advertising efforts to Twitter’s total audience and expose marketers to our large reach. We started by testing ads to logged-out visitors on Twitter. For this test, marketers were able to expand their reach to an additional 500-plus million visitors who come to Twitter but are not logged in. Although the test was small, the early results are encouraging. Initial performance from the pilot has shown that video view and click-through rates for logged-out ads are similar to logged-in performance.”
Twitter is facing tough competition for fashion’s ad dollars. The industry has been leaning toward the more visually focused Instagram and is, increasingly, turning to Snapchat.
Twitter is rejiggering under cofounder and now chief executive officer Jack Dorsey.
“We’re focused now on what Twitter does best: live,” the company said. “Twitter is live: live commentary, live connections, live conversations. Whether it’s breaking news, entertainment, sports, or everyday topics, hearing about and watching a live event unfold is the fastest way to understand the power of Twitter. Twitter has always been considered a ‘second screen’ for what’s happening in the world and we believe we can become the first screen for everything that’s happening now. And by doing so, we believe we can build the planet’s largest daily connected audience. A connected audience is one that watches together, and can talk with one another in real-time.”