Twitter ad revenue plummeted 59% across five weeks from April 1 to the first week of May, amid concerns about the company's handling of hate speech and misinformation. During that time, Twitter brought $88 million in ad revenue. The company's ad revenue for the quarter was $1.5 billion, down from $3.7 billion in the same quarter last year.
Twitter's ad revenue has been declining for several quarters, but the decline in the first quarter was particularly sharp. The company blamed the decline on a number of factors, including the ongoing pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and the slowdown in the global economy.
However, analysts believe that the decline in ad revenue was also due to concerns about Twitter's handling of hate speech and misinformation. In recent months, the company has been criticized for its slow response to hate speech and misinformation on its platform.
In March, Twitter fired its top safety official, Vijaya Gadde, after she was criticized for her handling of the company's policies on hate speech and misinformation. The company also announced that it would be hiring a new chief executive officer.
How Twitter Moves Forward
Twitter's new CEO, Elon Musk, has said that he wants to make the company a more welcoming place for free speech. However, Musk has also said that he wants to crack down on hate speech and misinformation. It remains to be seen how Musk's plans will affect Twitter's ad revenue. However, it is clear that the company needs to address the concerns of advertisers if it wants to reverse the decline in its ad revenue.
This continues the trend of advertisers pulling out of Twitter since Elon Musk bought the company last year. As for Musk, he has threatened to sue Microsoft over allegations that the software giant used his company's data to train its artificial intelligence (AI) models.
Twitter's user base, however, has remained resilient amid the turmoil. The company reported 227 million monetizable daily active users (mDAU) in the first quarter of 2023, up 9% year-over-year and slightly above analysts' expectations. Twitter said it saw strong growth in international markets, especially in Asia-Pacific and Latin America.