Twitter is going very well even without Donald Trump, said Jack Dorsey, the founder of the social network who welcomed the growth in the number of users during the US election, but also after his decision to ban the former president for repeated incitement to violence.
• Read also: Twitter reached 192 million daily users during the US election
“Our platform is broader than a topic or such-and-such an account,” he said Tuesday at an analysts conference on the company’s quarterly results.
“80% of our audience is outside the United States, and we have over 50 accounts followed by over 25 million people.”
In January, after supporters of the Republican billionaire invaded Capitol Hill, Twitter suspended and then deleted Donald Trump’s profile. The network has also purged numerous extremist accounts that supported it, including 70,000 affiliated with the conspiracy QAnon movement.
The ouster of Donald Trump, whose account was followed by 88 million subscribers, was not to the liking of his fans nor of certain defenders of online freedoms, who saw it as a sign of an inordinate power of platforms.
But “the average increase in the number of daily users said to be ” monetizable ” at the end of January was higher than the historical average of the last four years”, reassured the boss.
“We expect growth of around 20% year on year” for the current quarter.
These words were eagerly awaited, because Twitter’s economic model is based on advertising, which is sold more expensive as the users are numerous and active on the platform.
“Life without Trump is proving to be not only less annoying, but also much less damaging to the social network than many of us would have thought,” reacted analyst Rob Enderle of the Enderle Group.
“He attracted a lot of audience, but it was very focused on him. I’m not sure people read the ads ”.
The tweet network reached 192 million so-called “monetizable” users per day, on average, in the fourth quarter of 2020, a 27% jump in one year.
“Twitter ended a turbulent 2020 with a good performance in the fourth quarter. The technical improvements have improved the user experience and paid off, ”commented Nazmul Islam, analyst at eMarketer.
The Californian group exceeded market expectations with nearly $ 1.3 billion in revenue generated from October to December 2020 (compared to $ 1 billion over the same period in 2019).
It resulted in 222 million dollars in net profit (+ 87%) and 252 million in operating profit, a record.
But its expenses are also climbing. They grew by 21% in the fourth quarter, and should swell by 25% over the year 2021, “given the decisions in terms of hiring and investments in recent years,” said the group in a press release.
The platform launched new products last year, including “fleets”, messages that disappear after 24 hours, and is preparing new features, including “audio” rooms for live conversations and potential voice tweets.
She is also working on new forms of moderation, more “decentralized” after a year of particularly tense exchanges because of American policy.
“Ultimately, it’s the people who use Twitter who are best placed to resolve this problem,” said Jack Dorsey.
At the end of January, the network launched Birdwatch, in the testing phase. This new anti-disinformation tool allows participants to report messages and add context notes that will be readable only on a separate site initially.
The company would also like to empower users over the algorithms that guide their navigation.
“One can imagine that you classify the algorithms according to what you want to see,” suggested the boss.
Twitter also returned to the threat posed by the latest update to Apple’s iOS mobile operating system for free social networks.
Scheduled for this year, it will require application publishers to ask users for their permission to track them and to tell them what data they collect on them for advertising targeting purposes.
“If the pandemic continues to decline and the impact of changes related to iOS 14 are moderate, we expect faster growth in our revenues than our expenses in 2021,” notes the group.
For the current first quarter, Twitter is forecasting revenue of between $ 940 million and $ 1.04 billion.