Twitter has published its earnings report for the first quarter of 2021 and it shows how people have started spending more time on social media since the COVID-19 pandemic struck. The company reported 199 million daily active users in Q1 2021. That’s up 20 percent year-on-year (YoY) from 166 million in the same period last year. It’s also a 3.6 percent quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) increase from 192 million daily active users in the previous quarter (Q4 2020).
Twitter grew faster in international markets than in the US though. The microblogging platform had 38 million daily active users in the US during the first three months of the year. That figure for Q1 2020 and Q4 2020 comes in at 33 million and 37 million respectively. It marks a 15 percent YoY and a two percent QoQ increase in daily active users in Q1 2021.
On the other hand, the platform saw a 22 percent YoY and a 4.5 percent QoQ increase in daily active users in international markets during the same period, reaching 162 million in Q1 2021, up from 133 million in Q1 2020 and 155 million in Q4 2020. Note that the figures may not add up accurately due to rounding off.
Twitter gained a lot of new users during the height of the pandemic
Twitter said this worldwide increase in daily active users over the past year is driven by “ongoing product improvements and global conversation around current events,” suggesting that more people took to the platform to discuss the US presidential elections and other recent polarizing events. People are also now using social media more because the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has restricted real-life social interactions.
The company, however, expects this growth rate to decline in subsequent quarters. While the number of daily active users on Twitter may continue to rise throughout the year, the growth may not be nearly as fast as last year. The second quarter may experience the lowest growth rate in 2021.
The growth in userbase means Twitter also reported a significant 28 percent YoY increase in revenue in the first quarter of 2021. The Q1 revenue totaled $1.04 billion, with advertising revenue alone totaling $899 million, an increase of 32 percent YoY. Updated ad formats, improved measurement, and new brand safety controls have helped Twitter increase its advertising revenues, suggested Ned Segal, Twitter’s CFO.
Again, revenue growth in the US was lesser than in international markets. US revenue totaled $556 million, an increase of 19 percent YoY. On the other hand, international revenue increased a whopping 41 percent YoY to reach $480 million in Q1 2021.
This strong revenue growth means Twitter recorded a $52 million operating income and a $68 million net income this past financial quarter. That’s up from a $7 million operating loss and an $8 million net loss during the same period last year.
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