Twitter’s struggles to attract advertising dollars continued in a disappointing Q4, as quarterly user growth slowed and its net loss almost doubled from year-on-year.
The struggling social media firm, which is trying to replicate the success of rivals including Facebook and Snapchat in attracting advertisers to its platform, saw advertising revenue drop from $641 million in Q4 2015 to $638 million in the recent period. The majority (89 per cent) of the 2016 figure was generated through mobile advertising.
Total revenue for the period grew 1 per cent year-on-year to $717 million, from $710 million, with the remainder coming from data licensing revenue.
The company, which is yet to post a profit since going public in November 2013, rounded out the quarter with a wider net loss of $167.1 million, up from $90.24 million in Q4 2015.
Jack Dorsey, CEO, described 2016 as a “transformative year as we reset and focused on why people use Twitter”, with user growth at the heart of his message.
Monthly active users grew to 319 million, up 4 per cent from 305 million last year, and 83 per cent are using Twitter on mobile. However, on a quarterly basis, Q4 saw only 2 million user additions, which was in fact slower than the three previous quarters.
Dorsey is focussing on live video, in particular, to grow the company’s advertising revenue and user base. The CEO suggested the strategy will still take time to bear fruit.
“While revenue growth continues to lag audience growth, we are applying the same focussed approach that drove audience growth to our revenue product portfolio, focussing on our strengths and the real time nature of our service. This will take time, but we’re moving fast to show results.”
The company in January agreed to sell its Fabric developer tools and analytics business to Google for an undisclosed sum.