Twitter predicted it could turn its first ever profit in Q4, a feat it has been unable to achieve following an IPO in 2013.

The social network made the forecast as it reported Q3 revenue of $590 million, down 4 per cent year-on-year, which it said was due to shutting down its TellApart advertising product. Net loss for the quarter narrowed to $21 million, from $103 million in Q3 2016.

“For Q4, we expect adjusted EBITDA to be between $220 million and $240 million. We also expect that at the high end of our adjusted EBITDA range, we will likely be GAAP profitable,” the company said in an earnings statement.

“This quarter we made progress in three key areas of our business: we grew our audience and engagement, made progress on a return to revenue growth, and achieved record profitability,” Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s CEO, commented.

Meanwhile CFO Ned Segal said: “Our momentum was driven by improved execution from our sales team, strength in video and direct response ad formats, as well as in our data business”.

Twitter’s margin was helped by a 16 per cent cut in expenses a year earlier, which covered sales and marketing as well as research and development.

The company, which struggled to boost its user base, tried to improve its service through live-streaming deals including broadcasts of concerts and sporting events, as well as testing the ability to send tweets 280 characters long compared to the traditional 140.

User base
Twitter said it had miscalculated the size of its user base since 2014 and overstated the numbers to the tune of between 1 million and 2 million users per quarter for “certain third-party applications” which should not have been included in its overall monthly active user figures.

Average MAUs were 330 million for Q3, an increase of 4 per cent year-over-year. It also said daily active users were up by 14 per cent, but Twitter did not give figures for this.

“Growth in both audience and engagement was driven by a combination of organic growth, marketing, and product, including the ongoing benefits of improved relevance in email, push notifications, and the timeline,” the company said.