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What Drove Twitter’s Monthly Active User Growth in Q1 2019?

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Twitter’s user base in the first quarter

Investors rejoiced after social media company Twitter (TWTR) reported a better-than-expected number of MAUs (monthly active user) in the first quarter of 2019 after posting in-line MAUs in the fourth quarter and missing analysts’ estimates in both the third and second quarters of 2018.

Twitter also reported 134 million average mDAUs (monetizable daily active user) in the first quarter of 2019, higher than 120 million in the previous year’s quarter and 126 million in the previous quarter. mDAUs include users who access Twitter through twitter.com or the Twitter app, which both show ads, on any given day. Starting next quarter, Twitter will stop reporting its MAUs and will instead report only mDAUs.

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Twitter’s MAUs

Twitter’s MAUs stood at 330 million at the end of the first quarter, exceeding analysts’ estimate of 318 million and the preceding quarter’s MAUs of 321 million. Twitter’s user base growth is coming more from the international markets, as US markets have become saturated. While the average number of MAUs in the United States fell 1.4% YoY to 68 million, the average number of international MAUs fell 1.9% YoY to 262 million in the first quarter. Both Twitter’s US and international MAUs increased from the preceding quarter.

However, its number of MAUs fell 1.8% from the previous year’s quarter’s 336 million, probably due to rising concerns related to fake news and other abuse on the platform. Like Twitter, Facebook (FB) and Alphabet’s (GOOGL) Google are also struggling to combat fake news and data-breach issues on their platforms. Recently, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter were criticized for streaming the live terrorist attack in New Zealand, which took the lives of ~49 people.

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