Twitter Lost $69 Million On $254 Million In Revenue During The First Half Of This Year; Twitter Admits 5% Of Its ‘Users’ Are Fake

Twitter Lost $69 Million On $254 Million In Revenue During The First Half Of This Year

JAY YAROW OCT. 3, 2013, 6:24 PM 1,299

chart-of-the-day-twitter-revenue-losses

Compared to other major tech companies, Twitter is pretty small. The company’s IPO filing reveals that it lost $69 million on $254 million in revenue through the first six months of the year. Facebook earned $1 billion on $3.3 billion in revenue for the same period. Twitter is growing faster, though. Its revenue was up 107% on a year-over-year basis, compared to Facebook which grew 46%.  In this chart, you can see how Twitter’s revenue, and losses have been growing through the years on a quarterly basis. As you can see, Twitter just started getting aggressive on revenue two years ago. The majority of Twitter’s revenue — 87% — comes from advertising. The rest is from data licensing. The chart comes from BI IntelligenceTwitter Admits 5% Of Its ‘Users’ Are Fake

JILLIAN D’ONFRO OCT. 3, 2013, 5:50 PM 661 3

There has long been speculation about how many users Twitter actually has, because there was no concrete number about how many accounts were inactive or fake.

The New York Times reported this year that 20 million, or about 4%, of Twitter’s users are, in fact, fraudulent. Fake accounts are often made by companies who sell new followers to advertisers that want to build large follower populations quickly.

Well, the mystery is officially solved. According to Twitter’s S-1 filing this afternoon, we see that the company estimates that less than 5% of its monthly active users are fake. (Twitter currently has 215 monthly active users, so that’s about 10.75 million users that are fake.)

When Facebook IPO’d, it had about 5-6% fake users, so these numbers are pretty close.

Here’s exactly what Twitter said in its S-1:

“The numbers of our active users and timeline views are calculated using internal company data that has not been independently verified. While these numbers are based on what we believe to be reasonable calculations for the applicable period of measurement, there are inherent challenges in measuring usage and user engagement across our large user base around the world. For example, there are a number of false or spam accounts in existence on our platform. We currently estimate that false or spam accounts represent less than 5% of our MAUs. However, this estimate is based on an internal review of a sample of accounts and we apply significant judgment in making this determination. As such, our estimation of false or spam accounts may not accurately represent the actual number of such accounts, and the actual number of false or spam accounts could be higher than we have currently estimated. We are continually seeking to improve our ability to estimate the total number of spam accounts and eliminate them from the calculation of our active users, but we otherwise treat multiple accounts held by a single person or organization as multiple users for purposes of calculating our active users because we permit people and organizations to have more than one account. Additionally, some accounts used by organizations are used by many people within the organization. As such, the calculations of our active users may not accurately reflect the actual number of people or organizations using our platform.”

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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