Copyright 2022, Faulkner Information Services. All Rights Reserved.
Publication Date: 2206
Report Type: VENDOR
Twitter is a social media company that is best known for its microblogging service. This platform allows users to post and read short messages – or tweets – of 280 characters or less (in most countries). Since its establishment in 2006, Twitter has grown into a publicly traded company with 229 million monetizable daily active users globally and nearly 465 million accounts. In a relatively short period of time, Twitter has become an important tool for organizations to reach and directly interact with clients and the public at large. Although it captured the public imagination as one of the first truly successful social media platforms and is quite successful, the company has failed to become a behemoth on a par with Facebook. In November 2021, co-founder Jack Dorsey stepped down as CEO, and in April of 2022 the company’s board of directors voted to accept a $44 billion buyout from Elon Musk.
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1355 Market St., Suite 900
San Francisco, CA 94103
Phone: (415) 222-9670
Type of Vendor: Social Networking /Microblogging
Service Areas: Global
Stock Symbol: TWTR (NYSE)
Related Faulkner Reports
|Facebook Company Profile|
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Twitter is a social networking company that was founded in March 2006 with
the mission “to
give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly,
without barriers.” Twitter offers a microblogging service whereby users can send and
read 280-character (in most countries) messages, or “tweets.” In addition, a Twitter customer can
“tag” other user accounts
using the symbol @ or categorize “Trending Topics” with the now
ubiquitous # (hashtag) mark. Unregistered users cannot send tweets but are able
to browse publicly available timelines, which are essentially a user’s activity
log. This service can be accessed through
Twitter’s Web site, a registered mobile device using SMS, or its mobile iOS or
Twitter is headquartered in San Francisco, California,
and has 7,500 employees as of December 2021 – about half of whom are
engineers. This is a 36 percent single-year increase over the 5,500 employees the
company reported at the end of 2020. With 35+ locations worldwide, Twitter
has a presence throughout the US and the world, including offices in Los
Angeles, New York City, Boston, Chicago, London, Paris, Rio de Janeiro,
Tokyo, Toronto, and Berlin. The company now has an average of approximately
229 million mDAUs (monetizable daily active users) as of April 20221
and claims 465 million accounts.2
History & Milestone Events
Twitter started as the result of a brainstorming
session held by board members of Odeo, a podcasting company, in 2006. The
company’s co-founders – Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, Biz Stone, and Noah Glass –
proposed a SMS-style messaging service for mass-communicating with large groups
of peers. This company was dubbed Twitter because it was imagined to be used for
sending “a short burst of inconsequential information.”3
Twitter’s initial launch came through Obvious Corporation,
a startup incubator and investment vehicle led by Williams and Stone.
One year later, Twitter was spun
off from Obvious and incorporated in Delaware. The
company became publicly traded in November of 2013 with a NASDAQ IPO of $26 per
share, giving it a valuation of $14.2 billion. By the end of the first day of
trading the share price jumped more than 70 percent to $44.90 and the valuation
rose to $31 billion.4
of the more noteworthy moments in Twitter’s history have included:
- 2006 – Is established on March 21st. On that
day, co-founder Jack Dorsey sends the first tweet (“just setting up my twttr”).
- 2007 – Is spun off from Obvious Corp. as the
privately held Twitter, Inc … Is incorporated in Delaware on April 19th
… Also introduces its #hashtag feature for Trending Topics.
- 2009 – Sees former FeedBurner founder and
Google executive Dick Costolo joins the company as COO.
- 2010 – Names Costolo as CEO, replacing Evan
Williams … Introduces Promoted Tweets, Promoted Trends, and
Promoted Accounts features.
- 2011 – Acquires TweetDeck, a third-party
platform developer for tracking real-time conversations … Also
incorporates a feature that allows users to share photos using the SMS
function on their mobile device.
- 2012 – Rolls out a self-advertising service
for small businesses.
- 2013 – Launches its IPO on NASDAQ, trading
under the symbol TWTR at an initial value of $26 per share … Also
introduces the Vine video-sharing service.
- 2014 – Rolls out its new Twitter Profiles
feature that includes a Best Tweets function to show a user’s most-engaged
tweets, the ability to pin one tweet to the top of a page, and select
filtering options … Acquires data partner Gnip.
- 2015 – Announces that co-founder Jack Dorsey will return
to an active role after serving with the US State Department. Dorsey is soon
named CEO to replace the departed Costolo … Reveals plans to cut
approximately eight percent of its global workforce.
- 2016 – Forms the Twitter Trust & Safety Council, a
providing expertise and input regarding aspects of user safety and privacy
… Incorporates support for streaming live 360 video as the company
simultaneously moves to shut down the Vine mobile app.
- 2017 – Announces the trial of a 280-character post
limit for “select languages” … Introduces its restructured Profile Page
… Adds support for businesses to incorporate a “Direct Message” button …
Eliminates user names from counting against its 140-character limit in a
- 2018 – Adds to the service new streamlined Ads Policy certifications
and an Ads Transparency Center Interface as well as measures to fight abuse, features
for managing personal information, and a Bookmarks option … Reveals plans
to delete Locked accounts from one’s Follower list … Reaches an agreement
to acquire Smyte.
- 2019 – Begins testing a feature to hide tweet replies … Rolls
out its refreshed Web site and rules … Purchases Fabula AI … Launches a
tool for providing direct, “credible” resource links … Teams with
Facebook, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon to join the Global Internet Forum to
Counter Terrorism … Expands its archive of “Potential Foreign Information
Operations” … Partners on ML (machine-learning) research as part of a new
initiative with UC Berkeley … Removes thousands of accounts for “platform
manipulation” … Debuts Twitter Privacy Center … Adds a Tweet Reply
blocking feature … Introduces function for following Topics … Teams with
Adobe and The New York Times to establish a Content Authenticity Initiative.
- 2020 – Sees the FCC seek to clarify a section of the
Communications Act that governs social media company liability for user
posts … Dorsey survives an attempt by activist investors to remove him as
CEO … Launches 2020 US Election Hub … Unveils Trending Tweets elements
… Experiences a major hack when bitcoin scammers take control of 130
accounts belonging to high-profile users such as Joe Biden, Barack Obama,
Elon Musk, and Kanye West … Teams with Verizon Media on “Project Protect”
initiative … Tests the Spaces audio tweeting feature for iOS … Draws ire from US
President Donald Trump after removing one of his tweets … Tests filters to restrict
tweet replies … Adds warning labels for
at-question content … Updates rules against “hateful conduct” … Launches
Promoted Trend Spotlight function … Number of daily users sees a 25
percent increase during the COVID-19 pandemic, from 139 million at the end
of 2019 to 186 million by December 2020 (by mid-2022 the number rises to 229
- 2021 – Following the January 6 attack on the US Capitol,
permanently suspends President Trump’s personal account for violating the company’s
Civic Integrity policy by promoting violence and spreading election misinformation.
Then removes tweets from the official US President account that were placed in an
attempt to evade the ban … Citing a decline in usage and high maintenance costs,
discontinues the Periscope live video streaming app although most of its features
continue as part of the Twitter app … Dorsey, along with Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai
and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, testifies before the House Committee on Energy and
Commerce on the role of social media in the January 6 insurrection and the spread of
misinformation related to the 2020 election … Establishes a headquarters for its
Africa operations in Ghana … Expands Spaces audio tweeting feature to Android …
Releases first-ever subscription service, Twitter Blue, to users in Canada and
Australia allowing options for organizing tweets into folders and undo a tweet
within 30 seconds of sending it (Blue will subsequently expand to the US and
New Zealand) … Rolls out new interface updates, including
a new font (Chirp) and high-contrast color design … Unveils Super Follows service
allowing creators to charge followers subscription pricing for exclusive content
… Along with Facebook and Google, company is sued by former President
Donald Trump for having accounts suspended (in May 2022, the case is
dismissed by a federal judge who rules that the First Amendment applies only to
restrictions of speech by the government, not by private companies) … Agrees to
pay more than $800 million to settle a consolidated class-action securities lawsuit
alleging that investors were deliberately misled about user engagement … Sells
mobile ad firm MoPub to AppLovin Corp. for $1.05 billion in cash … Co-founder
Jack Dorsey steps down as CEO and is replaced by chief technology officer Parag Agrawal.
- 2022 – Along with Alphabet Inc., Meta Platforms Inc., and Reddit Inc.,
is subpoenaed by the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the US
Capitol … Elon Musk takes a nine percent stake in the company and within weeks offers a
$44 billion bid to take the company private; in April, the board of directors votes to accept
the offer, although Musk puts the deal on hold over questions regarding account and usage
statistics … Agrees to a $150 million federal privacy settlement with the Federal Trade
Commission for the misuse of data
between 2013 and 2019.
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Twitter’s mission is to “give everyone the power to create and share ideas
and information instantly, without barriers.” More recently, this aim has
taken on the slant of seeking to “improve the health of the public
conversation.” Top priorities have included bolstering conversation quality,
reducing abuse (including harassment and manipulation), and improving
information reliability in order to promote dialogue and promote healthy user
Twitter’s strategy also includes
numerous tenets. Table 1 lists the company’s top strategy elements.
As a social network, Twitter enjoys a strong level of customer
support. With more than 500 million tweets sent per day and a daily user base that
has increased significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic (from 139 million at
the end of 2019 to 229 million by mid-2022), the company has undeniably insinuated
itself as a habit in people’s personal lives and in the greater public
conversation regarding news and current events.
Twitter users fall into all age ranges, with 42 percent of adults
between the ages of 18 and 29 forming the largest audience in the US.5 Globally,
38.5 percent of the service’s users are aged 25 to 34, with 23.7 percent below
this range and 37.8 percent above.6
Twitter operates similarly to other competitive social networks in
that it generates revenue not from users but from advertisers and data
licensing. As a result,
Twitter’s financial success is incumbent on its ability to support the creation and
distribution of more content in order to drive subscriber numbers, platform
partners, and, ultimately, advertisers.
The advertising sector is responsible for the vast majority of the company’s
income, accounting for more than 88 percent of its $5.08 billion in revenue for 2021.7
Advertising revenue is generated from the sale of promoted tweets, accounts, and trends
purchased by advertisers. Twitter has continually refined its algorithms to ensure
that promoted products reach their appropriate user timelines or break into the
Trending Topics lists.
The company’s data licensing operation allows non-advertisers such as
analytics firms and media agencies to access, search, and analyze historical and
real-time data, including public tweets.
Particular areas of strength include:
- User Growth, Engagement, and Monetization –
Growth trends in the number of monthly active users, user
engagement trends, and monetization trends that are reflected in advertising
- Advertising Service Effectiveness – Increases the amount
that advertisers spend on Twitter, in turn extending the value of its Promoted
Products as well as the size and engagement of its user base.
- International Expansion – Invests in its international
operations in order to expand its user base; improve its advertiser base; and extend user engagement and monetization on an international scale.
Top-growing international markets include Brazil,
Argentina, Japan, India, Saudi Arabia, France, and Germany.
- Infrastructure Investments – Increases the capacity and
enhances the capability and reliability of its infrastructure, which is
critical to providing users, platform partners, advertisers, and data partners
with access to its platform, especially during elections, top sporting
events, and natural disasters.
- Products and Services Innovation – Continually extends the
size and engagement of its user base, attracts advertisers, and increases revenues that depend, in part, on its ability to improve existing products and
services, as well as its ability to develop or acquire new ones. Also continues to make investments in
R&D and, from time to time, may acquire companies to
enhance its own products, services, and technical capabilities.
- Investment in Talent – Invests in hiring and
retaining employees to grow its own business over time.
Twitter’s primary risk factors include:
- Competition – Despite its growing user numbers, Twitter still ranks
far behind Facebook (with 2.8 billion active monthly users) and Google’s YouTube (2.2
- Government Regulation – Lawmakers are increasingly taking a closer
look at large tech companies in general and social media outlets in particular. Although
Facebook, Amazon, and Apple have faced the most scrutiny, Twitter has faced its share of
complaints about issues ranging from misinformation to a lack of transparency in enforcing
its moderation policies. As investigations continue, the company is bound to become a
target of future questioning.
- Revenues – Twitter’s revenue model is heavily centered
on online advertising, accounting for nearly 90 percent of the company’s income. But its
more than $4.5 billion in digital advertising in 2021 doesn’t come close to Facebook’s
$115 billion9 and is not even in the same league as Google’s $209.49 billion.10
While still a small part of its revenue pie, data licensing is seen as a growing
source of income for the firm. Increasingly, however, consumers are becoming more and
more aware of data issues and are looking to have a choice in how their information
is being used. If a large enough audience decides to prioritize privacy over data
sharing, a growing revenue stream could dry up before it truly gets rolling.
- Operational Expenses – The company is expanding its number of
data centers worldwide, adding high operational costs on top of its limited revenue
model. Amazon may have been able to operate at a loss for years before seeing big
returns on its strategy, but it is hard to see how long investors will be patient if
Twitter’s profits significantly decline.
- Lack of Brand Promotion and Creativity – While older audiences
seem comfortable with Twitter just the way it is, younger audiences are continuing
to make Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok their go-to social media destinations.
Services like Vine and Periscope were fairly quickly co-opted by eager competitors
so it remains to be seen if the Spaces audio tweet offering might meet a similar fate.
- Platform Misuse – As a forum where people can speak their minds,
Twitter has to contend with the very concept of how its own service is being used.
Misinformation about the 2020 US presidential election results and COVID-19
vaccinations forced the company to crack down – from posting links to fact-checked
sources to banning high-profile accounts accused of spreading wrong information.
This is just the latest in a series of issues that Twitter and all social media outlets
have faced since their inception. Spamming, cyberbullying, and even recruitment
efforts by terrorist groups have raised questions about how best to regulate what
can be said and who is responsible for monitoring the conversations.
- Internal Turmoil – After surviving an attempted ouster by activist
investors in 2020, co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey resigned his position in late 2020 to
focus on another corporate responsibility, Block, Inc. (formerly Square, Inc.). Within
months, billionaire Elon Musk revealed he had bought nine percent of Twitter’s stock
to become its single largest shareholder. This was almost immediately followed by a bid
from Musk to buy the company outright for $44 billion. No sooner had the board of
directors voted to accept the deal when Musk said the offer was “temporarily on hold”
while questions about the number of fake accounts and other matters were resolved. All
this change within a short period of time – as well as Musk’s comments about allowing
unfettered free speech on the platform – has left employees and analysts wondering
about the organization’s future direction.
As of June 2022, the future of Twitter’s business operations is very much up in the
air. In April, billionaire Elon Musk made a $44 billion offer to take the company private.
Within weeks, the Twitter board of directors voted to accept the offer, only to have Musk
put a hold on the bid. Musk has cited three issues that he feels must be resolved before
the deal can be completed: Earning shareholder approval, obtaining debt financing, and
resolving questions about spam and fake accounts on the platform.11
Should the takeover be completed, it would be one of the biggest acquisitions of a
tech company and, as the Wall Street Journal reports, “will likely affect the
direction of social media. Mr. Musk will bring a commitment to a more hands-off approach
on speech moderation to a company that has struggled to reconcile freewheeling conversations
with content that appeals to advertisers.”12
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Twitter targets its products and services toward
end users, platform partners and developers, and data partners. These
offerings are outlined in Table 2.
|Products and Services for Users||Global platform for public self-expression and conversation in real time.|
|Products and Services for Advertisers||Promoted Products||Allows advertisers to promote brands, products, and services to amplify
visibility and reach, as well as to extend the conversation around an
advertising message. Twitter’s Promoted Products include:
|Twitter Audience Platform||Provides targeting capabilities – based on audience attributes – to help
promote brands, products and services; amplify visibility and reach; and
compliment and extend conversations around a campaign.
|Performance Marketing||Services include campaign management, real-time analytics, and advertiser
|Products for Developers and Data Partners||Tools, public APIs, and embeddable widgets||Help
developers contribute content to the Twitter platform; syndicate and
|Subscription services||Accelerating and extending data. These offerings help with utilizing public content
to derive business insight, as well as for building products that use
content that is shared on Twitter.
Twitter competes with a number of different types of
companies, including firms that offer products for creating and sharing
information, including Facebook, Google, and other social media and messaging
companies with a strong presence in particular countries; companies that develop
apps for creating, syndicating, and distributing content across Internet
properties; and traditional, online, and mobile businesses that allow marketers
to reach audiences and/or develop tools and systems for managing and optimizing
advertising campaigns. Twitter also believes that additional competitors may
come about as it continues to introduce new products and as its existing products
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Mergers, Acquisitions, and Divestitures
Elon Musk said his planned $44 billion acquisition of
Twitter is “on hold.”
The multi-billionaire has raised concerns about fake accounts and the total
number of actual users on the
social media platform. “Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake
accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users,” Musk tweeted. Analysts have suggested that the issue may
be a negotiating tactic to re-price or abandon the deal.
Twitter‘s board of directors has voted to accept Elon Musk’s bid to buy the company
and take it private. The $44 billion deal places a value of $54.20 per share on the company. The decision comes after a
three week whirlwind following the initial disclosure that Musk had obtained nine percent of the social media platform’s stock,
making him the single largest shareholder. Should the takeover reach its final conclusion, it will be one of the largest
tech acquisitions on record and could affect the future of social media. Musk has indicated
that, under his leadership, Twitter will take a more hands-off approach
to content moderation.
Less than two weeks after the disclosure that Elon Musk controls nine percent of
Musk has made a $44 billion offer for the company. Twitter said it has received the offer and its board is reviewing the proposal.
“Having a public platform that is maximally trusted and broadly inclusive is extremely important to the future of civilization. I
don’t care about the economics of it all,” Musk said in an interview after news of the offer was released. Musk has been
a long-time critic of the platform’s content moderation policies and its banning of controversial figures.
Twitter is selling mobile ad firm MoPub to AppLovin Corp. for $1.05 billion in cash, the company announced.
MoPub allows app publishers to make money by selling ad slots on their apps, and helps advertisers reach certain audiences on mobile apps, among
other offerings. The unit generated about $188 million in revenue for Twitter in 2020.
The company said the transaction will allow it
to focus on its own platform, its performance-based advertising products, and e-commerce initiatives. AppLovin, which makes tools for developers
to improve marketing and revenue as well as running its own mobile-game apps, said the addition of MoPub will help increase demand and competition for
publishers’ ad impressions.
Products and Services
In opposition to prospective owner Elon Musk’s
philosophy of less content moderation on the social media platform,
Twitter says it is planning new ways to combat misinformation. The company said it would
verify claims regarding armed conflicts, natural disasters, and health emergencies by verification through multiple credible,
publicly available sources, including conflict monitoring groups, humanitarian organizations, and journalists. If a claim is found
to be misleading, Twitter will not amplify or recommend that content in the home timeline or the search and explore features. The company
also said it would add warning notices to certain tweets – including from high-profile accounts and accounts controlled by governments and
state-affiliated media. Users would have to click through the warning to view the tweet, and
such postings will not be able to be liked, retweeted, or shared.
After years of requests from its users,
Twitter said it is
developing a feature that will allow users to edit tweets after they have been posted. “We’ve been
exploring how to build an Edit feature in a safe manner since last year and plan to begin testing
it within @TwitterBlue Labs in the coming months,” a company spokesperson said. The company is trying
to control ways in which the function can be misused. “Without things like time limits, controls, and
transparency about what has been edited, Edit could be misused to alter the record of public conversation.
Protecting that public conversation is our top priority when we approach this work.”
Twitter will start allowing users of its Twitter Blue subscription service to
post nonfungible tokens (NFTs) as their profile pictures. The use of NFTs as
profile images positions the social media platform squarely in the conversation
surrounding crypto and blockchain technology, which have a large interest among
less mainstream audiences. The NFT profiles will be clearly distinguishable,
appearing as hexagons rather than circles. Users can tap on the hexagon to see
more information about the digital art. To start, only Blue subscribers using
Apple iOS devices will be able to upload NFT profile images.
The US House of Representatives’ select committee investigating the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol
has issued subpoenas to four social media platforms, including Twitter, for information about what the companies
might have known regarding the spread of extremism leading up to the incursion. The
subpoenas were served after the
committee received what it deemed to be inadequate responses to its previous requests for information. The
committee is asking for records relating to the spread of misinformation, efforts to overturn the 2020 election,
domestic extremism, and foreign influence in the election.
Twitter has permanently suspended an account of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, citing repeated
violations of rules regarding the posting of Covid-19 misinformation. One of the tweets in question read, “Before Covid, Reported deaths from vaccines were taken seriously and dangerous vaccines were stopped. After Covid, Extremely high
amounts of covid vaccine deaths are ignored and government forced vaccine mandates increased.”
The tweets in question were posted to an account used for personal and political
communications and not her official Congressional account. In response to Twitter’s action,
Greene issued a statement saying, “Twitter is an enemy to America and can’t handle the truth. That’s fine. I’ll show America
we don’t need them and it’s time to defeat our enemies.”
Twitter users will no longer be able to share private media, such as photos and videos,
of another person without their permission, a move aimed at improving privacy and security. Twitter said it can take enforcement
action when private media is posted without the consent of someone included in it.
The change is part of the social media platform’s efforts to align
safety policies with human-rights standards and better prevent so-called doxxing
– the publishing of private information
online with malicious intent. Twitter will require either a first-person report or one from an authorized representative to decide
whether a piece of media has been shared without permission in order for it to remove the content. The policy generally would not
apply to images or videos taken at large public gatherings such as sporting events or protests, the company said.
Twitter users will now have the option of seeing automated captions for voice tweets.
The feature comes after criticism from accessibility advocates and users who said
the lack of captions excluded people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Voice tweets, available on the iOS Twitter app, let users record up to two minutes and 20 seconds of audio and send it as a tweet.
Twitter said the automated captions are generated using Microsoft technology and users cannot edit the captions. Captions are
available for voice tweets in English, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese, Turkish, Arabic, Hindi, French, Indonesian, Korean, and Italian.
Twitter announced it is discontinuing its Fleets offering
that allowed the posting of short-term messages, photos, and video. Launched in late 2020,
Fleets was intended to compete with similar offerings by Snapchat and Instagram. A Twitter
vice president stated that “we haven’t seen an increase in the number of new people joining
the conversation with Fleets like we hoped” in announcing the shutdown.
Personnel and Organizational
Citing a “very challenging macro environment,”
Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal
announced a hiring freeze and company-wide spending cuts. The move came hours
before Elon Musk said his attempt
to purchase the social media platform was “on hold.” “Effective this week, we are pausing most hiring and backfills,
except for business-critical roles. We are also pulling back on non-labor costs to ensure we are responsible and
efficient,” a company spokesperson told TechCrunch. It was also
revealed that two top executives, GM of Consumer Keyvon Beykpour and Bruce Falck, the company’s revenue product lead,
have been let go.
Following the revelation that Elon Musk owns nine percent of the company’s
stock, Twitter has offered Musk a seat on its board of
directors. Following the announcement, CEO Parag Agrawal tweeted, “He’s both a passionate believer and intense critic of the service
which is exactly what we need on @Twitter, and in the boardroom, to make us
stronger in the long-term. Welcome Elon!” For his part, Musk tweeted,
“Looking forward to working with Parag & Twitter board to make significant
improvements to Twitter in coming months!” Musk’s term on the board is set at
two years and, while he is a director, he cannot own more than 14.9 percent of
the company stock.
Tesla and Space X founder Elon Musk revealed he has purchased a nine percent stake in
A securities filing revealed that Musk reported owning almost 73.5 million shares of the social media platform, with a value of
approximately $2.9 billion. News of the stock acquisition sent Twitter’s share price up 27 percent,
its largest one-day percentage gain on record. Musk, who has more than 80
Twitter million followers, is now not only one of its
most popular users but its single largest shareholder, controlling a larger portion of the company than co-founder Jack Dorsey or some
large institutional investors like the Vanguard Group.
Twitter announced that it will change the name of its Data Licensing and Other
Revenue business segment to Subscriptions and Other Revenue starting in the fiscal year 2022 first quarter. The move will
reflect the sale of the company’s mobile ad firm MoPub to AppLovin Corp. That
$1.05 billion transaction was announced in October 2021 and closed in January
2022. The Subscriptions and Other Revenue segment will include revenue from the
Twitter Blue subscription service. Twitter Blue, available for now only in the
US, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia, allows its users to save individual
tweets to folders and withdraw tweets shortly after they have been posted as well as other experimental
In a corporate shakeup under newly appointed chief executive officer Parag Agrawal,
in a regulatory notice that engineering lead Michael Montano and design and research lead Dantley Davis will step down from their posts
effective December 31. Both executives will remain in advisory roles through the end of the first quarter. The company also said it is
naming general managers to oversee functions around consumers, revenue, and core technology with Kayvon Beykpour, Bruce Falck, and Nick
Caldwell taking on those posts. In addition, Lindsey Iannucci, a senior director at the company, was named to the leadership team
as chief of staff and vice president of operations. Twitter said said the changes were aimed at boosting operational efficiency as well
as increasing accountability and speed.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is stepping down. The company co-founder and one of Silicon
Valley’s most prominent figures, is also CEO of digital payments company Square Inc. His
divided duties and outside activities
have long drawn criticism. In 2020, activist investor Elliott Management Corp. pushed for changes at Twitter, including
adjusting Dorsey’s role. Twitter’s board of directors named Parag Agrawal as the new CEO, making him a member of the board,
effective immediately. Agrawal was elevated from his role as chief technology officer.
revenue grew 16 percent to $1.2 billion compared with $1.04 billion in the first
quarter of 2021. Ad revenue – the company’s biggest source of income – increased
23 percent to $1.11 billion. The daily user base rose to 229 million from 214.7
million in the previous quarter, exceeding analysts expectations of 226 million.
However, the company also reported that it had overstated previous user data for
a three year period ending in 2021. The problem was attributed to an error in
how it accounted for people linked to multiple accounts, resulting in a decrease
in the previously stated fourth quarter 2021 figure of 217 million daily users to 214.7.
Fourth quarter results from Twitter showed a 22 percent increase in revenue and
a 2.84 percent rise in the daily user base, but the company still reported a loss in net income. Quarterly income of
$182 million was down from the $222 million in the comparable year-ago quarter, with expenses of $1.4 billion being
the contributing factor in the result. Costs of operations grew as a result of increases in headcount, higher sales-
related expenses, infrastructure improvements, and marketing expenses. The number of daily users was pegged at 217
Twitter reported a 37 percent jump in third-quarter revenue, posting $1.28 billion.
Ad sales rose 41 percent from the year-ago period. However, the company saw a net loss of $537 million after a net profit
of $29 million a year ago. The loss was attributable to a one-time charge to settle a 2016 lawsuit that alleged the company
misled shareholders regarding its number of monetizable daily active users (mDAUs). The charge knocked $766 million off the
bottom line. Twitter use, measured by mDAUs, was up 13 percent year-over-year to
211 million in the third quarter, topping the 11 percent increase in the second
A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed in 2021 by former President Donald Trump against
alleged censorship. Twitter had banned Trump’s personal account for two days following the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol, on the grounds
that his tweets might incite further violence. Trump and other plaintiffs were seeking class-action status on the grounds that Twitter had violated
their First Amendment rights. US District Court Judge James Donato of the Northern District of California ruled that the litigants “are not
starting from a position of strength,” citing case law that the First Amendment applies only to restrictions of speech by the government and not
by private companies.”
Twitter said it agreed to pay more than $800 million to settle a consolidated class-action
securities lawsuit alleging the social-media company deliberately misled investors about user engagement in 2015. The shareholder action
claimed Twitter misled investors about two closely tracked metrics: monthly active users, a measure of the total number of users on its
platform; and timeline views, a measure of how frequently users interacted with the platform. Twitter said it would pay $809.5 million
under the binding agreement to settle the claims, adding that it continues to deny any wrongdoing or improper actions.
A 22-year-old British man was arrested on charges related to the 2020 hack of
resulted in the brief takeover of more than 130 accounts, including those belonging to Joe Biden, Bill Gates, and Kim Kardashian.
Joseph O’Connor was arrested in Spain at the request of US law enforcement. He is the fourth person to be charged in connection
with the hack, which hijacked high-profile Twitter accounts to post messages that solicited donations to a bitcoin wallet for
causes such as Covid-19 relief efforts. Federal prosecutors have said the pleas for donations were a scam. The suspect has been
charged in a California federal court with several counts of computer hacking for the Twitter incident, intrusions related to
account takeovers of TikTok and Snapchat users, and with cyberstalking a juvenile.
Former President Donald Trump has sued
Google, seeking to restore his online profile after being suspended from the social-media platforms
following the January 6 riots at the US Capitol. Trump was the most prominent plaintiff seeking class-action status against the tech companies,
claiming he has been wrongly censored by them in violation of his First Amendment rights. The lawsuits were filed in US District Court in Miami.
A federal judge in Florida has blocked the state from enforcing parts of a new law
that makes social-media companies such as Twitter and
Facebook potentially liable for censoring political
candidates, the news media, and other users. US District Judge Robert Hinkle granted an
injunction against the law hours before it was slated to take effect. In a 31-page opinion,
he said the statute’s restrictions on content removal and its liability provisions likely
violate the First Amendment and conflict with federal law.
Twitter has agreed to pay a $150 million dollar penalty imposed by the US Federal
Trade Commission (FTC) to settle a federal privacy suit related to user data. The FTC alleged that the social media
platform collected telephone numbers and email addresses for account security measures, but then used that data for its
advertising tools. The activity violated a 2011 consent agreement between Twitter and the FTC that barred the company
from misrepresenting how it used individuals’ contact information. Between 2013 and 2019, the practice affected up to
140 million people. Twitter’s privacy chief stated that user data “may have been inadvertently used for advertising.”
The FTC’s order also subjects Twitter to independent security audits every other year for the next two decades as well as
notifying the affected users and providing multi-factor authentication options that do not rely on phone numbers.
European Union regulators are cautioning
Twitter regarding new rules
for monitoring harmful content. The reminder of the recently passed guidelines comes after Elon Musk
made comments regarding the social platform’s moderation policies as he attempts to buy the company.
Referring to the Digital Services Act, which forces platforms to take more responsibility for the content
their users post, EU internal market commissioner Thierry Breton told the Wall Street Journal, “Now we
have very clear rules. They can do whatever they want outside of Europe … but in Europe they will just have
to fulfill [our] rules and obligations.”
After more than six months, the Nigerian government is allowing Twitter
to once again operate in the country. In June 2021, the social media platform was placed on “indefinite suspension”
after placing a temporary ban on the account of President Muhammadu Buhari. A government spokesperson said the two
sides reached an agreement that will create a “foundation for a mutually beneficial future with endless
Twitter said, “We are deeply committed to Nigeria, where Twitter is used by people for commerce, cultural
civic participation.” Twitter also announced it would establish a legal entity in the country and comply with local tax
The African country of Nigeria indefinitely suspended Twitter
two days after the social media site placed a hold on the account of the nation’s president. The
hold placed President Muhammadu Buhari’s account in “read-only mode” for 12 hours and removed a
post that threatened violence against separatists that the government has blamed for attacks on
property and assassinations.
1 “Twitter Announces First Quarter 2022 Results” (press
release). Twitter. April 28, 2022.
2 Simon Kemp. “Essential Twitter Statistics and Trends for 2022.” DataReportal. May 12, 2022.
3 “Twitter Creator Jack Dorsey Illuminates the Site’s Founding Document.” Los Angeles Times. February 18, 2009.
4 “Twitter Shares Jump 73% in Market Debut.” BBC News. November 7, 2013.
5 “Percentage of U.S. Adults Who Use Twitter as of February 2021, by Age Group.” Statista. April 2021.
6 “Distribution of Twitter Users Worldwide as of April 2021, by Age Group.” Statista. April 2021.
7 “Twitter, Inc. Form 10-K for the Fiscal Year Ended December 31,
2021.” US Securities and Exchange Commission. February 2022.
8 “Most Popular Social Networks Worldwide as of July 2021, Ranked by Number of Active Users (in Millions).” Statista. July 2021.
9 “Advertising Revenues Generated by Facebook Worldwide from 2017 to 2026 (in Billion US Dollars).” Statista. May 2022.
10 “Advertising Revenue of Google from 2001 to 2021 (in Billion US Dollars).” Statista. February 2022.
11 Alyssa Lukpat. “Elon Musk Says Three Issues Need Resolving Before Twitter Deal Can Be Finalized.” Wall Street Journal. June 21, 2022.
12 Cara Lombardo, Meghan Bobrowsky, and Georgia Wells. “Twitter Accepts Elon Musk’s Offer to Buy Company in $44 Billion Deal.”
Wall Street Journal. April 25, 2022.
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