Twitter Earnings Fall Short As Company Admits Overstating User Numbers


Twitter published its earnings report for the quarter ended March 2022. It was disappointingly short of expectations. The company also admitted that it had exaggerated its daily active users over several years, possibly by accident. After Elon Musk’s successful bid for Twitter to go private, the earnings report will be Twitter’s last report as a publicly traded company.

CNBC reports that Twitter reported earnings for the first quarter 2022, despite Elon Musk’s successful bid of taking the company private. CNBC summarizes the report below.

Twitter aid reported that 229 million mDAUs were reported by the company, a 15.9 percent increase over the previous year. According to the company, the number of mDAUs in the United States increased by 6.4 percent, reaching 39.6 millions. International mDAUs increased by 18.1 percent to 189.4 millions.

Twitter also corrected mDAU numbers from Q1 2019 to Q4 2021 that incorrectly reported accounts overcounted. Twitter reported that an error was made reporting 1.4 million to 1.99 million additional mDAUs per month during this timeframe. This was due to Twitter’s introduction of a feature that allows users to switch accounts easily. All linked accounts were considered mDAUs if the main account took an action.

Twitter stated in its earnings report:

We launched a feature in March 2019 that allows people to link multiple accounts together to make it easy to switch between them.

It was a mistake that caused all linked accounts to be counted as the mDAU because of actions taken through the primary account.

This led to an overstatement in mDAU between Q1’19 and Q4’21.

Below is a table that shows updated values of mDAU for Q4’20 through Q4’21, as well as historical reported values for the same periods. To give you more information about the extent of the changes, we have included one decimal place in both absolute and growth rates. Recast data is not available before Q4’20 because of data retention policies. However, our estimates indicate that the prior period adjustments will not be greater than those in quarter four’20.

While it will likely take several months for Elon Musk to purchase Twitter, the company has cancelled its earnings conference call due to the acquisition news. Twitter is also withdrawing its earlier outlooks and goals, and will not provide forward-looking guidance.