Twitter Q1 2016 Revenue Falls Short of Analysts’ Projections

Twitter reported revenue of $595 million in the first quarter of 2016, up 36 percent compared with the year-earlier period, but below analysts’ expectations.

Twitter reported revenue of $595 million in the first quarter of 2016, up 36 percent compared with the year-earlier period, but below analysts’ expectations.

Ad revenue of $531 million was up 37 percent year-over-year, and mobile accounted for 88 percent of total ad revenue.

Twitter reported a GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) net loss of $80 million, or 12 cents per share, less than one-half the company’s net loss in the first quarter of 2015.

The company reported 310 million monthly active users at the end of the first quarter of 2016, up from 305 million MAUs at the end of the fourth quarter of 2015.

Twitter said in its letter to shareholders:

We saw a return to sequential growth in monthly active usage, driven by seasonality and marketing initiatives. We also saw deepening engagement (likes, replies and retweets) driven by a few important product launches, including the enhancements to the timeline and the Twitter-Periscope integration. We remain focused on disciplined execution to drive sustained audience growth over time.

Revenue came in at the low end of our guidance range because brand marketers did not increase spend as quickly as expected in the first quarter. We see a clear opportunity to increase our share of brand budgets over time. We have a strong product roadmap designed to tap into incremental brand-oriented online video budgets, and will deliver additional features for advertisers later this year—including more detailed demographic targeting and verification, and reach and frequency planning and purchasing.

In February, we launched two great features to help businesses doing customer service on Twitter. The first, direct-message prompts in tweets, makes it super easy for a business to reply to a public tweet and move the conversation to a private DM. The second, Customer Feedback Cards, lets businesses survey customers about their experience right inside a DM conversation.

The two products work best when they’re used in tandem: A business sees a complaint, addresses it over DM and can see how satisfied their customer is with their solution, all right within Twitter. Businesses ranging in size from small local businesses to global companies like Apple are already using these tools today.

Live-streaming video is a strong complement to the live nature of Twitter, and it helps instantly show the value and power of Twitter. In the past, the conversation has happened on a separate screen from the event itself. What we’re doing now through live-streaming video, both in Twitter and Periscope, is bringing the event and the conversation together on a single surface.

Earlier this month, we expanded our three-year relationship with the National Football League to include streaming of 10 Thursday Night Football games, as well as pregame analysis shows, postgame highlight shows and behind-the-scenes Periscope broadcasts next season.

These games will be great for NFL fans already on Twitter. It will also show people who don’t already use Twitter that our service is the destination for live events and the conversations around them.

We plan to expand our global offering of live sports, as well as live news, politics and entertainment. For content producers and rights holders like the NFL, we offer the ability to reach a large global, mobile and younger audience both on and off of Twitter, together with years of experience making money jointly with partners through our Amplify program. You should expect to see us working with other partners to bring these kinds of joint experiences to life on Twitter.

Periscope is also growing rapidly. People have created more than 200 million broadcasts to date, and they watch over 110 years of live video every day on iOS and Android. That doesn’t include views from Periscopes on the web or embedded in tweets, another improvement we’ve introduced, which is driving significantly more video views and deeper engagement in the form of likes and retweets. We also made a number of improvements to the application to make things faster and show you when people you know are in broadcasts. In addition, we’ve teamed up with GoPro to enable its cameras to broadcast directly to Periscope.

Readers: What are your thoughts on Twitter’s first-quarter-2016 financial results?

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