Twitter reported that its first quarter revenue increased 3% to top analysts’ estimates as the social media company continued to struggle outside the U.S. due to product issues and coronavirus quarantines.
For the first three months of 2020, Twitter had $808 million in revenue, up from $786.9 million for the same period one year ago and well ahead of the $776 million projected by analysts. That bump in revenue seemed to come mainly from Twitter’s efforts to more effectively monetize its current user base.
Twitter uses a self-invented metric called “Monetizable Daily Active Usage” or mDAU to track the efficiency of its advertising system. Twitter defines mDAU as “users who logged in or were otherwise authenticated and accessed Twitter on any given day through Twitter.com or Twitter applications that are able to show ads.”
For Q1, the company said mDAU grew 24% year-over-year 166 million up from 134 million the previous year and 152 million in the previous quarter. In a letter to shareholders, the company attributed that increase to “seasonal strength, ongoing product improvements, and global conversation related to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
As a result, US revenue was $468 million, up 8% year-over-year. But international revenue was $339 million, down 4% year-over-year. Twitter blamed the latter on problems it continues to have with personalization and data settings for its mobile app, as well as the impact of COVID-19 in Asia region.
Twitter reported a loss of $8 million for the quarter, or $.01 per share, beating the average estimate of a $.02 per share loss.
Due to the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus, the company did not offer any guidance for future earnings.