Twitter turns a profit: Audience and profit growth attracting more brands to platform

‘We want to double the amount of video content we have on Twitter’

Not only has Twitter turned a profit in Q4 2017 but, according to Twitter Australia CEO Suzy Nicoletti, the company is continuing to grow.

“Audience and engagement numbers are up and our average daily users are up double digits for the fifth consecutive quarter. We are also now reporting revenue growth,” she told Mediaweek.

Nicoletti reminded us of the strategy change where the focus has been very much on making Twitter simpler and safer. “Last year we spoke with Mediaweek about live content and making Twitter the destination for live programming and premium video.”

Live has taken off for Twitter with over 1,140 live events globally in 2017, and it has become particularly important in Australia.

“Some of the key events we streamed in the past year include the second year of the Melbourne Cup and we grew the audience globally. We also streamed ABC’s coverage of the same-sex marriage survey and the Pitch Perfect 3 red carpet. We went head-to-head with other social platforms on those events and we emerged as the most-viewed platform.”

With Nicoletti noting the strategy is working, Twitter wants to be even more ambitious in 2018. “By this time next year we want to double the amount of video content we have on Twitter.”

Other live events on Twitter recently included Sydney’s New Year’s Eve fireworks and just this week Twitter live streamed Four Corners. Other attractions are as diverse as live surfing and live indigenous rugby league.

“With a lot of brands noting we are doing so well in the space, they are coming to speak to us. This week we have been excited about our partnership with SBS, which will see us live streaming the 40th Mardi Gras to a global audience.

“We did a number of trials in 2017 with niche sports to see if we could find an audience and we have been blown away with the results. We are looking for more events in 2018 to take Australian sports to the rest of the world.

“We built our content from the Australian Open this year with our AO Live show twice a day with an AM and PM preview.”

Globally Twitter video views increased year-on-year from 3.8m to 11.7m.

The action from the Australian grand slam attracted over 11 brands to Twitter to wrap themselves around the premium content. “Brands are also having a similar opportunity now partnering with us for the Winter Olympics.”

Not many people in Australia or the US would have missed the recent Crocodile Dundee campaign from Tourism Australia. Following the screening of the ads, Tourism Australia promoted the hashtag #BringBackDundee to keep the conversation going.

The buzz around Twitter at present is attracting even more brands with people presenting exciting ideas, according to Nicoletti.

After the Winter Olympics, the Commonwealth Games will be a big focus. “We are very optimistic that will be a great experience for both users and brands alike,” she promised.

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