Twitter has been around for more than a decade, and in that decade, it’s never made a profit. And, by all accounts, that was set to continue. After all, none of its problems had changed; user growth was still flat, trolls were still rampaging across the landscape, and nobody but the site’s dedicated userbase of journalists, comedians, and people who scream at journalists and comedians seems to understand it, let alone use it. And yet, somehow, Twitter just had its first profitable quarter.
Twitter posted $91 million in profit, with total revenue growing 2% from this time last year. For contrast, last year Twitter lost $167 million last year, amid the same concerns. So, how did they pull off this turnaround?
Good question. As we noted, nothing in Twitter’s situation has actually changed. CEO Jack Dorsey has been heavily criticized for being slow to change any aspects of Twitter, and that’s been reflected in the company itself. The company states it got here by cutting costs, which makes sense. And to be fair, this is part of a trend: Last quarter, Twitter lost far less money than it did a year ago at the same time, with $21 million in red ink compared to $103 million lost in the third quarter of 2016. It might simply be that Twitter cut its losses enough to actually make money. So, now that it’s got some cash, the next question will be how to get people to use Twitter. Maybe they could spend it on an abuse team that actually boots trolls!
(via The Verge)