Twitter Loses 9 Million Users Amid Bot Crackdown

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Twitter’s monthly user count took another hit last quarter, diving by 9 million users amid an ongoing crackdown meant to rid the platform of bots, spam, and other problematic accounts. The company’s monthly user base fell from 335 million last quarter to 326 million this quarter, marking the second quarter in a row of declines.

The decline wasn’t unexpected. Twitter said last month that it had begun wiping out bad accounts far more rapidly. And the company warned that it could lose “mid-single-digit millions” more in the coming months, due to new technology that helped spot bad actors. Evidently, Twitter ended up wiping out more bad accounts than it added real accounts. (Or it lost some real ones, too.)

Cleaning out these accounts ought to lead to a better platform overall. But for the time being, the adjusted figures illustrate how poorly Twitter has been growing. Not only has it lost users this year, its total user count is back to where it was at the start of 2017. For comparison, Facebook added 38 million monthly users just last quarter.

Twitter expects the user decline to continue. The company says it expects another “mid-single-digit millions” drop next quarter, though it doesn’t attribute the whole thing to its bot crackdown. Some of it is because of the company dropping SMS deals with carriers, and some of it is because of Twitter’s “decision to allocate resources towards GDPR.”

There was one bright spot when it came to user growth, though: daily active users continue to grow. Twitter still won’t say exactly how many daily users it has, but it says the number is up 9 percent year over year. Daily user growth has, however, slowed — Twitter saw 14 percent growth this quarter last year.

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