Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey began the company’s Q2 earnings call by highlighting its strong growth, but also the importance of the social platform and how it connects everyday users and celebrities together. Focusing specifically on moments in sports and athletes, Dorsey recounted how people use Twitter to talk about what’s happening and how the platform provokes conversation and catalogs defining moments in history.
“We see these types of moments every day. They bring us together when we agree, and all too often divide us when we don’t,” said Dorsey. “But they inspire us to do better and they provide the context for the action that we’re taking to prioritize the long-term health of Twitter over near-term metrics.”
Total revenue increased by 24 percent year-over-year to $711 million, driven by ongoing enhancements that improved ad relevance, which led to better ROI for advertisers. To put that into perspective, total revenue from advertising reached $601 million in the second quarter, an increase of 23 percent year-over-year.
Over half of ad revenues came from videos, which Twitter named as its fastest-growing ad format in Q2, and Dorsey said that the video website card brings performance and brands together, driving better ROI across all parts of the funnel. Video and livestreaming will remain top priorities for Twitter, with in-stream ads that allow advertisers to reach viewers at relevant moments. The company stated that it will continue to invest in better quality and performance for the experience while increasing the reach and engagement for content owners.
“We’re receiving positive feedback from customers about our efforts to enhance advertiser transparency and improve the health of the public conversation,” said Dorsey. He also noted that Unilever CMO Keith Weed, who called upon social platforms to take actions against fraudulent accounts, publically praised the company’s efforts to eliminate fake followers.
Twitter’s daily active users grew 11 percent year-over-year, but the removal of suspicious accounts led to a significant decrease in monthly active users, down to 335 million. The company credits much of the user growth to marketing and infrastructure improvements that make it easier for users to follow topics and events.
The system’s primary test came during the FIFA World Cup, which received over 115 billion impressions. In partnership with Fox, Twitter highlighted scores while surfacing relevant tweets in near real-time to the top of users’ timelines.
Twitter signed 50 new video livestreaming, highlight, Amplify and video-on-demand agreements in Q2, with 30 of them from international markets. Some prominent partners include ESPN, NBCUniversal and Viacom, and the company aims to bring hundreds more on board.
The company’s ongoing revenue priorities include nurturing new channels such as online video, ensuring that advertisers reach audiences when they are most receptive, and continuing to build trust with users by improving quality and transparency. The last point includes the formation of the Twitter Ads Transparency Center, which lets the public see who is advertising on the platform.
The platform is now removing twice the number of accounts that are in violation than it did last year, and in June, over 50,000 spammy sign-ups were prevented per day.
Dorsey said that the Twitter shifted much of its focus to behavior and conduct on the platform rather than content because improving the health of the public conversation is an important long-term growth vector.
“When we focus on removing some of the burden of people reporting, blocking or muting, we see positive results in our numbers,” Dorsey explained. He believes that as public discourse improves, users will be encouraged to stay with the platform while getting others to join.