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Twitter Q3 misses big on revenues of $824M and EPS of $0.05 on the back of adtech glitches

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Twitter today reported its earnings for the quarter that ended September 30, and the numbers delivered a big surprise, falling on both sales and earnings per share. Revenues came in at $824 million, and EPS at $0.05. That represents sales up 9% year-over-year but far below what analysts had been expecting: (non-GAAP, diluted) EPS of 20 cents per share and revenues of $874.03 million (or higher, $883 million, depending on which group of analysts you’re following). The stock is down around 20% in pre-market trading.

Twitter said the huge drop in performance “was impacted by revenue product issues, which we believe reduced year-over-year growth by approximately 3 or more percentage points, and greater-than-expected seasonality.” Specifically, it also noted that it discovered and took steps to fix bugs “that primarily affected our legacy Mobile Application Promotion (MAP) product, impacting our ability to target ads and share data with measurement and ad partners.” Also its adtech personalization was also not “operating as expected.” It also blamed the bad numbers on a slower summer for big events and launches compared to a year ago. 

Meanwhile, monetizable daily active users came in at 145 million, versus 124 million a year ago and 139 million in Q2. That actually exceeds the 14% growth analysts had been expecting (it’s up 17% year-on-year). Net income came in at $37 million.

“We drove strong growth in monetizable DAU (mDAU), up 17% year-over-year, driven by ongoing product improvements,” said Jack Dorsey in a statement. “We’re continuing to improve relevance while testing ways to make it easier for people to find what they are looking for on Twitter.  We also continue to make progress on health, improving our ability to proactively identify and remove abusive content, with more than 50% of the Tweets removed for abusive content in Q3 taken down without a bystander or first person report.”

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Ned Segal, CFO, spoke more directly to the disappointing numbers:

“Despite its challenges, this quarter validates our strategy of investing to drive long-term growth. More work remains to deliver improved revenue products. We’ll continue to prioritize our ad products along with health and our investments to drive ongoing growth in mDAU. We remain confident that focusing on our most important priorities, and delivering higher performing, better ad formats will deliver better outcomes for all of our stakeholders for years to come.”

The company has made a significant shift in the last year to tracking a new user metric of its own making, monetizable daily active users, which tracks those who are being served ads.

Twitter’s argument is that these are the main users to watch, since their growth (or decline) is more closely linked to how Twitter’s business is doing. It helps also to take attention away from more established usage metrics such as daily and monthly active users, both of which had stagnated and even declined in recent years, which mark a longtime challenge for the company: Twitter is addictive and used almost religiously by some people, but ultimately the company had not managed to grow traction with a mass market.

The U.S. continues to be Twitter’s largest single market but is still outweighed by business outside those borders. Average U.S. mDAU was 30 million, compared to 26 million in the same period of the previous year and 29 million in the previous quarter, Twitter said, while average international mDAU was 115 million, compared to 98 million in the same period of the previous year and 110 million in the previous quarter.

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Ad revenue was $702 million, up 8% year-over-year, with data licensing and other revenue coming in at $121 million, up 12%. U.S. revenue continues to outpace international, at $465 million versus $358 million.

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For some context: Last quarter the company reported EPS also of $0.20 on revenues of $841 million; and actually down by one cent on a year ago, when the company reported earnings of $0.21 on sales of $758 million. 

More to come.

TechCrunch

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Google December Product Reviews Update Affects More Than English Language Sites? via @sejournal, @martinibuster

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Google’s Product Reviews update was announced to be rolling out to the English language. No mention was made as to if or when it would roll out to other languages. Mueller answered a question as to whether it is rolling out to other languages.

Google December 2021 Product Reviews Update

On December 1, 2021, Google announced on Twitter that a Product Review update would be rolling out that would focus on English language web pages.

The focus of the update was for improving the quality of reviews shown in Google search, specifically targeting review sites.

A Googler tweeted a description of the kinds of sites that would be targeted for demotion in the search rankings:

“Mainly relevant to sites that post articles reviewing products.

Think of sites like “best TVs under $200″.com.

Goal is to improve the quality and usefulness of reviews we show users.”

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Google also published a blog post with more guidance on the product review update that introduced two new best practices that Google’s algorithm would be looking for.

The first best practice was a requirement of evidence that a product was actually handled and reviewed.

The second best practice was to provide links to more than one place that a user could purchase the product.

The Twitter announcement stated that it was rolling out to English language websites. The blog post did not mention what languages it was rolling out to nor did the blog post specify that the product review update was limited to the English language.

Google’s Mueller Thinking About Product Reviews Update

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Product Review Update Targets More Languages?

The person asking the question was rightly under the impression that the product review update only affected English language search results.

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But he asserted that he was seeing search volatility in the German language that appears to be related to Google’s December 2021 Product Review Update.

This is his question:

“I was seeing some movements in German search as well.

So I was wondering if there could also be an effect on websites in other languages by this product reviews update… because we had lots of movement and volatility in the last weeks.

…My question is, is it possible that the product reviews update affects other sites as well?”

John Mueller answered:

“I don’t know… like other languages?

My assumption was this was global and and across all languages.

But I don’t know what we announced in the blog post specifically.

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But usually we try to push the engineering team to make a decision on that so that we can document it properly in the blog post.

I don’t know if that happened with the product reviews update. I don’t recall the complete blog post.

But it’s… from my point of view it seems like something that we could be doing in multiple languages and wouldn’t be tied to English.

And even if it were English initially, it feels like something that is relevant across the board, and we should try to find ways to roll that out to other languages over time as well.

So I’m not particularly surprised that you see changes in Germany.

But I also don’t know what we actually announced with regards to the locations and languages that are involved.”

Does Product Reviews Update Affect More Languages?

While the tweeted announcement specified that the product reviews update was limited to the English language the official blog post did not mention any such limitations.

Google’s John Mueller offered his opinion that the product reviews update is something that Google could do in multiple languages.

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One must wonder if the tweet was meant to communicate that the update was rolling out first in English and subsequently to other languages.

It’s unclear if the product reviews update was rolled out globally to more languages. Hopefully Google will clarify this soon.

Citations

Google Blog Post About Product Reviews Update

Product reviews update and your site

Google’s New Product Reviews Guidelines

Write high quality product reviews

John Mueller Discusses If Product Reviews Update Is Global

Watch Mueller answer the question at the 14:00 Minute Mark

[embedded content]

Searchenginejournal.com

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