Twitter revenues drop for the first time

A fall in advertising revenue offsets growing userbase

Twitter's revenues have declined for the first time ever because advertisers used the platform less than they have before.

The social network's revenues fell by 8% year on year to $548 million in the first quarter of 2017, due to advertising losses of 11% compared to the same period of 2016, to $415 million, the company said.

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Revenues from data licensing were up by 17% year-on-year, but it's the cost per engagement that made the biggest losses, reducing by 63% year on year.

"We believe Twitter is the best place to drive brand perception and we're continuing to showcase our unique value proposition for advertisers," said Anthony Noto, Twitter's chief operating officer. "We've received positive early feedback from our ad partners as we highlight the improved return on investment from our audience growth and better pricing.

"We remain focused on our initiatives to grow revenue by simplifying our revenue product portfolio, communicating our progress to advertisers and reallocating resources to our highest revenue generating priorities."

In a note to shareholders ahead of its conference call, Twitter said it expects revenue growth to lag behind audience growth in 2017, but it thinks continuing to focus on growing audience numbers will help boost the money side of things.

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It's certainly not all doom and gloom for Twitter when it comes to active users either, with the number of people using the service on a daily basis increasing by 14% quarter-over-quarter, equivalent to nine million people.

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Twitter's report read: "We believe that executing on our plan and growing our audience should result in positive revenue growth over the long term."

"We're proud to report accelerating growth in daily active usage for the fourth consecutive quarter, up 14% year-over-year," added Jack Dorsey, Twitter's CEO.

"We're delivering on our goal to build a service that people love to use, every day, and we're encouraged by the audience growth momentum we saw in the first quarter. While we continue to face revenue headwinds, we believe that executing on our plan and growing our audience should result in positive revenue growth over the long term."

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