Twitter surpassed 192 million daily active users in Q4 as the social media company grappled with criticism of its role in the spread of election misinformation

Advertisement
Twitter surpassed 192 million daily active users in Q4 as the social media company grappled with criticism of its role in the spread of election misinformation
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.Francois Mori/AP
  • Twitter's user count passed 192 million in Q4, it posted in its earnings report on Thursday.
  • The growth coincided with the 2020 presidential election and mounting pressure on the tech firm.
  • Twitter's decision to ban a New York Post story was a standout moment in the firm's fourth quarter.

Twitter's user count surpassed 192 million in Q4, a growth that coincided with mounting pressure on the company regarding its influence on the 2020 presidential election.

That's a 27% increase year-over-year "driven by global conversation around current events" and other factors, according to the company.

The social media company posted $1.29 billion in quarterly revenue and $0.27 in earnings-per-share on Tuesday.

Advertisement

Here are the key numbers from Twitter's Q4 earnings:

  • Q4 revenue: $1.29 billion versus Wall Street estimates of $1.19 billion.
  • Q4 earnings per share (EPS): $0.27 versus Wall Street estimates of $0.31.

Twitter was at the center of controversy when the New York Post published a dubious story about President Joe Biden's son in October, with Rudy Giuliani - former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer - as one of the outlet's sources. The publication tweeted the story, which included personal information, and Twitter responded by banning the URL of the article, meaning people couldn't share it.

Dorsey later said it was "wrong" to ban the story.

The incident fanned the flames of a theory held by conservatives that tech companies discriminate against right-leaning content. A recent study from New York University researchers found that claim to be "unfounded."

Advertisement

Senate Republicans subpoenaed CEO Jack Dorsey, and he willingly appeared before Congress in November to face questioning over how his company chooses what to moderate.

Read more: Inside the Democrats' plan for handling Donald Trump as Joe Biden's biggest critic and Twitter troll during the next 4 years

Twitter, and other internet platforms, faced heightened pressure in late 2020 to crack down on misinformation surrounding the 2020 presidential election.

Advertisement

The company began taking the unprecedented step to add labels to certain tweets in May when former President Donald Trump published a post in which he baselessly claimed that mail-in voting would lead to a fraudulent and "Rigged Election." Twitter's warning banner on Trump's post angered some conservatives and became fodder for their claim that internet platforms censor them.

Read more: How Silicon Valley banished Donald Trump in 48 hours

Twitter's rocky relationship with Trump came to a head shortly after Q4 wrapped up, when the platform permanently suspended him following the January 6 siege on the US Capitol.

Advertisement

In January, Twitter announced Birdwatch, its answer to moderating content on its site by enlisting the help of Twitter users. More details have also emerged about "Bluesky," an initiative first unveiled in 2019 that is designed to build a new decentralized social network system. It would allow for the creation of more social media sites but could also open the door for more content moderation troubles.

Twitter also acquired email newsletter startup Revue in January.

{{}}