Twitter’s Q2 2016 earnings report tells a story we’ve heard many times before: namely, flat growth and a net loss in terms of profit. For the quarter ending June 30th, Twitter saw revenue of $602 million but a net loss of $107 million. The service boasted 313 million monthly active users, up 3 percent over the previous year. Last quarter, Twitter reported 310 million monthly active users.
Twitter’s main source of revenue is advertisement. For the quarter, advertising revenue accounted for $535 million of the company’s $602 million total, with mobile bringing in 89 percent of all ad dollars. Ad revenue was up 18 percent year-over-year. On a call with investors, Twitter COO Adam Bain noted that video was the platform’s number one format for ad revenue.
So far in 2016, Twitter has emphasized live video, particularly for sportsand political events, and the company continues to update Periscope, its livestreaming service. Twitter also boosted its GIF size limit to 15MB, made it easier to quote your own tweets and rolled out a few changes aimed at making the site friendlier for casual users. Plus, Twitter is getting in on the augmented reality game with the addition of former Apple UI designer Alessandro Sabatelli.
“We are seeing the direct benefit of our recent product changes in increased engagement and usage,” Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said in today’s report. “We remain focused on improving our service to make it fast, simple and easy to use, like the ability to watch livestreaming video events unfold and the commentary around them.”
On the investor call, Dorsey re-iterated Twitter’s focus on live video going forward, promising more partnerships in this space.
Twitter has taken steps this year to improve its response to reported harassment, including implementing a safety council staffed with advocates from organizations including GLAAD and the National Network to End Domestic Violence, and prominent figures like Anita Sarkeesian of Feminist Frequency. The platform even banned notorious conservative writer Milo Yiannopoulos after he ignited a trolling campaign againstGhostbusters star Leslie Jones, an act that followed years of provocation and repeated suspensions. Still, many users feel the company hasn’t responded appropriately to claims of abuse.
Dorsey addressed Twitter’s plan to create a safe and honest online environment during today’s investor call.
“We hope — and we recognize it’s a high hope — to elevate civil discourse,” he said. “I emphasize civil discourse there. Abuse is not part of civil discourse. It shuts down conversation and prevents us from understanding each other. Freedom of expression means little if we allow voices to be silenced because of fear of harassment if they speak up. No one deserves to be the target of abuse online and it has no place on Twitter. We haven’t been good enough at ensuring that’s the case and we must do better.”
Today’s report marks Dorsey’s first full year as Twitter CEO since re-joining the company he founded. In July 2015, Dorsey took over as CEO from Dick Costolo after the company’s April earnings report showed slow user growth on top of net losses for the first quarter of the year. Twitter has historically struggled to attract users and generate profit on the same levels as platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Facebook Messenger, for example, recently topped 1 billion users.