Twitter, the social media site, has admitted to exaggerating the number of users on the platform by 1.9 million in the last three years. This was revealed in the company’s Q1 2022 financial report, which was released today.
The news comes only days after Elon Musk’s $44 billion deal to buy Twitter was accepted by the company’s board of directors.
Twitter claims that a “error” in Q1 2019 led to an overestimation of its monetizable daily active usage or users (mDAU). This went unnoticed for three years, according to the business.
Twitter in its Q1 2022 earnings report said: “In March of 2019, we launched a feature that allowed people to link multiple separate accounts together in order to conveniently switch between accounts.
“An error was made at that time, such that actions taken via the primary account resulted in all linked accounts being counted as mDAU.”
What you should know
- This is not the first time Twitter reported erroneous metrics around users, but it is the first time it’s impacted Twitter since the switch to mDAUs.
- The company in Q3 2017 admitted it had overcounted its MAUs by 1 to 2 million, at a time when its MAU base was over 300 million.
- The error could put Twitter in even a more precarious situation with regard to its advertisers.
- The company recorded $1.2 billion in revenues in the first quarter of 2022.
- Twitter’s monetized daily active users, its own unique metrics for tracking its audience, came in better than investors expected at 229 million (presumed to be the accurate figure after an adjustment of the past error) with year-on-year growth of 6.4 per cent in the US and 18.1 per cent in the rest of the world.
Net income jumped to $513million, thanks to a one-off benefit from the $1 billion sales of its mobile advertising unit, MoPub to AppLovin, which closed in January.