Twitter stock tumbles 15% after it purged 1 million accounts

Posted at 7:31 AM, Jul 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-27 07:31:49-04

The number of people on Twitter fell during the three months ending in June as it worked to clean up the platform and comply with new privacy regulations.

The social network said Friday that it had 335 million monthly users around the world in the second quarter, down from 336 million users in the quarter prior. The company said the dip was in part because of “decisions we have made to prioritize the health of the platform.”

The stock fell 15% in premarket trading Friday after the earnings results.

Twitter stock has nearly doubled this year as the company showed signs of a business turnaround, with two consecutive profitable quarters and renewed growth in users and ad sales.

But the markets were jittery ahead of Friday’s report after rival Facebook spooked investors by warning of slowing sales growth in the second half of the year as it focuses on “putting privacy first.”

Twitter has focused on safeguarding the service in recent months amid scrutiny of its role in spreading fake news and election meddling as well as the broader data privacy backlash hitting the tech industry. It cracked down on fake accounts, purging suspicious accounts from users’ follower metrics and removed 143,000 apps last quarter for violating its policies.

Like Facebook, Twitter is working to comply with sweeping new data protection regulations across Europe. The company said in April that monthly active user growth could be “negatively impacted” by the General Data Protection Regulation.