Twitter admits it overstated its monthly active user numbers for years

Is this Twitter's moment of truth?

  • Published: October 26, 2017 9:59 PM IST

2017 is certainly not turning out too good for Twitter. The year started with several top executives leaving the company.  Last quarter, Twitter’s revenue growth struggles continued. During Q2, 328 million people around the world used Twitter every month, the same number that used it every month in Q1 2017. However, today, with the announcement of Q3 earnings, Twitter revealed that while it’s actually growing and has added four million monthly users in three months, the company has also goofed up.

The micro-blogging site revealed that it accidentally inflated user growth in its reports for the previous three years. Earlier today, Twitter released its quarterly earnings in a letter to shareholders. In the report, the company wrote that it recently discovered that since the end of 2014, the company mistakenly counted users of Digits, the app is transferred to Google as part of its overall audience for the past year.

However, Twitter has acted upon it and has revised some of its numbers, which registered a loss of a whopping 1 to 2 million active users per quarter since the end of 2016. But Twitter says it failed to adjust user numbers earlier than that because it doesn’t have the data to calculate the reports.

“These third-party applications used Digits, a software development kit of our now-divested Fabric platform, that allowed third-party applications to send authentication messages via SMS through our systems, which did not relate to activity on the Twitter platform,” it said in a note to shareholders.

Earlier this year, Google parent company Alphabet bought Digits and other developer tools from Twitter. Google has taken over Twitter’s mobile app developer platform Fabric, as well as its Crashlytics crash reporting system, Answers mobile app analytics, and FastLane development automation system. Twitter launched Fabric in 2014 to allow developers to pick and choose different tools to improve their apps. ALSO READ: Twitter testing 280-character limit for tweets and the internet is furious

In this quarter, the company’s overall user base grew by just two million total users over the number it reported in Q2. The company now claims 330 million total users. Twitter reported $590 million in revenue for the quarter, a decline of 4 percent year on year.

  • Published Date: October 26, 2017 9:59 PM IST