Twitter warns of slowing user growth after ‘pandemic-related surge’

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Twitter reported $1 billion in revenue for the first quarter of the year on Thursday, but the social media platform warned of user growth slowing the rest of the year after a “pandemic-related” surge. 

Twitter’s quarterly earnings marked a 28 percent increase from the same period the previous year, the company said in its letter to shareholders

The platform also reported a 20 percent increase in monetizable daily active usage.

“Looking ahead, the significant pandemic-related surge we saw last year creates challenging comps, and may lead to [monetizable daily active usage] growth rates in the low double digits on a year-over-year basis,” Twitter said in its earnings report. 

The platform warned that the low point in growth will likely be in the second quarter. 

Twitter also reported that advertising revenue was $899 million, an increase of 32 percent. The company said the boost was driven by “strength in brand advertising in March.” 

Twitter also said that it has expanded its integration with SKAdNetwork, Apple’s proprietary measurement solution, in preparation of “privacy challenges” related to Apple’s new iOS 14.5 update

The update includes a feature that will require apps ask for users permission before tracking their data. 

“While it is still too early to understand the full impact of Apple’s iOS 14.5 changes, our integration with SKAdNetwork has allowed us to reach a new audience, increasing the total number of iOS devices to which we can advertise with MAP ads by 30% while maintaining cost-per-install performance,” Twitter said in the report. 

Facebook has been pushing back more fiercely on the Apple update, and called it out as a specific threat when releasing its own quarterly earnings report on Wednesday. 

Facebook, however, reported a strong first quarter, beating Wall Street revenue expectations and bringing in $26.2 billion.

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