Twitter Shares hit as User Base Shrinks

Twitter shares plummeted Friday as quarterly results showed a drop in users of the site amid news of a third straight quarterly profit.

The microblogging site said it posted a profit of $100 million in the second quarter as revenue rose 24 percent to $711 million.

But the social media giant said its base of monthly active users fell by one million from the past quarter to 335 million in the period amid a purge of fake accounts and a crackdown on “bots” that manipulate the site.

Shares in Twitter slumped 16 percent in pre-opening trades in a market jittery following a weak outlook from social network leader Facebook.

Chief executive Jack Dorsey however remained positive, saying the results reflect investments “in the long-term health” of Twitter, noting efforts to weed out violence and inappropriate behaviour.

“Our second quarter results reflect the work we’re doing to ensure more people get value from Twitter every day,” Dorsey said.

“We want people to feel safe freely expressing themselves and have launched new tools to address problem behaviors that distort and distract from the public conversation.”

Twitter has stepped up efforts to weed out accounts that promote violence or hate speech, with the inevitable result that its user base will be lowered by millions.

The San Francisco-based firm recently appointed Nigeria’s former Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to its board of directors.

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