Twitter reported gain in revenue driven by improvements to its app and added video content has attracted more advertisers to the social network.
Twitter said that its fourth-quarter net income was $91.1 million. The
company's per-share profit was 12, or 19 cents when adjusted for one-time gains and costs. Revenue was at $731.6 million.
Twitter also reported $87 million from data licensing and other revenue, up 10 percent from a year earlier, while advertising revenue rose 1 percent to $644 million.
This is the first time the company posts a real profit, a milestone in Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey's turnaround effort. However, Twitter's monthly active users were little changed from the prior quarter at 330 million, with the company to explain that it was due to efforts to reduce spam, malicious activity and fake accounts. In addition, Twitter usage was hurt by seasonal weakness and a change that Apple made to its Safari web browser that reduced the tally of users by 2 million.
Twitter has been focusing on video and has also changed its algorithms to shows users the most relevant postings first. The company has also
doubled the number of characters allowed in each tweet in most languages, from 140 to 280, and tried to limit the harassment of women and minorities on the site. Twitter has also struck deals with media companies for live news and entertainment shows.
Rival Facebook has 2.1 billion monthly users, while Snapchat has 187 million daily users.
Twitter, along with the social media sector, are facing a regulatory backlash in Europe and the United States over privacy, addiction to the medium, hate speech and alleged abuse of social media by Russia to sway foreign elections.
Twitter last month said it suspended 3,814 accounts linked to a Kremlin troll farm, and notified approximately 1.4 million people that they interacted with Twitter accounts potentially connected to a propaganda effort by a Russian government-linked organization.
Facebook has recently decided to shift its news feed toward content from family and friends and to focus less on posts from media outlets and businesses. The change could help Twitter, as publishers and online advertisers could further increase their spendings on Twitter.