Twitter smashed almost every Wall Street estimation with its Q2 2014 earnings report released last night, and the stock subsequently went through the roof in the after-market, rallying more than 35 percent at one stage.
Part of the reason for this was Twitter’s stronger than expected monthly active user (MAU) number, which has now reached 271 million users, up 16 million from the last quarter, and the biggest single quarter-on-quarter increase since Q1 2013.
Over the last four quarters Twitter has added 53 million active users, which averages a little over 13 million new users per quarter. Taking this average, I’ve projected Twitter’s MAU number through Q4 2014, when the platform should reach 297 million actives. Check the chart below for more detail, which includes Twitter active users from Q1 2012 until Q2 2014, plus the two projected quarters.
Of course, this is all speculation. In his earnings call yesterday, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo said that the platform saw more engagement than users from the World Cup, but that seems unlikely to me, and we could well be looking at a flat MAU increase for Twitter in Q3 2014, simply because Q2 was so good – the platform added just 9 million users between Q3 and Q4 2013, for example, after strong Q1 and Q2 2013 performances.
However, I have a feeling that we might look back on this month as a time that Twitter turned a big corner, and I think there’s every chance the company will surpass 300 million monthly active users by the end of this year. That’s a net annual gain of just 60 million MAUs, after all, which is really a pretty low number overall. But for Twitter, and its investors, 300 million will be a very big deal indeed, and a great place to start – and build from – in the new year.