Twitter says it is considering subscription options amid a 23% reduction in the company’s revenue in the first quarter of 2020.
The platform hit 186 million monetizable daily active users between April and June (up 34 percent year-over-year), but it had an operating loss of $124 million during the quarter as ad revenue slowed.
As a result of this, Twitter says it’s looking into other revenue streams beyond advertising, which could include some form of subscriptions. It’s in the very early stages of exploring those models, however, and it doesn’t expect to generate revenue from other types of products this year.
We're also in early stages of exploring add'l potential revenue products that complement our advertising business, which may include subscriptions & others. It is very early; we do not expect any revenue against these in 2020. $TWTR
— Twitter Investor Relations (@TwitterIR) July 23, 2020
CEO Jack Dorsey said on an earnings call Thursday (via CNN) that “you will likely see some tests this year” of different approaches. He noted that he has “a really high bar for when we would ask consumers to pay for aspects of Twitter,” however. “We want to make sure any new line of revenue is complementary to our advertising business,” Dorsey said.
Twitter’s earnings report follows what Dorsey described as a “tough week” in which the company scrambled to address a massive hack that compromised numerous verified accounts, including those of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos.
On the eve of its earnings results, Twitter announced that dozens of accounts — including one elected official in The Netherlands — may have had their direct messages accessed by hackers as part of the security incident.
Dorsey apologized on the conference call Thursday for last week’s massive security breach, saying “we fell behind” on the company’s security obligations.
“We feel terrible about the security incident,” he said. “Security doesn’t have an end point. It’s a constant iteration … We will continue to go above and beyond here as we continue to secure our systems and as we continue to work with external firms and law enforcement.”
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