Twitter Miscounted Users For Three Years

In what may turn out to be one of its last reports as a public company, Twitter released its earnings for the first quarter of 2022.

The social media platform, which is in the process of finalizing sale to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, reported $1.2 billion in revenue, which was just shy of its $1.23 billion projection.

Despite coming short of its revenue goals, Twitter beat estimates for earnings per share, at 4 cents, adjusted, compared to expected 3 cents.

These findings were expected to be revealed on an 8 am EST earnings call on Thursday, April 28. However, with the Musk transaction pending, Twitter canceled the call, as well as the shareholder letter and financial guidance that usually accompany it via press release.

Twitter Miscounted Active Users for Three Years

The social media company’s press release also reported it has erroneously been counting the number of monetized daily active users (mDAUs) since 2019. The confusion stems from a feature launched in March 2019 that allowed people to link multiple separate accounts together to conveniently switch between them.

This miscalculation incorrectly reported between 1.4 and 1.9 million extra users per quarter during that period.

According to the release, “an error was made at that time, such that actions taken via the primary account resulted in all linked accounts being counted as mDAU. This resulted in an overstatement of mDAU from Q1’19 through Q4’21.”

However, Twitter reported 229 mDAUs in quarter 1 of 2022, which is an increase of 10 million last quarter and a 15.9% increase from the first quarter of 2021.

Pending Sale, Twitter Offers No Outlook on the Future

Because of Musk’s pending acquisition, Twitter said it “will not be providing any forward looking guidance and are withdrawing all previously provided goals and outlook.”

The deal with Musk, which agreed to sell the company for $54.20 per share, has been approved by the board of directors and is expected to close before the end of the year.

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