Twitter has spent the last few years in social media wilderness. But if its first quarter report of 2019 is any sign, the platform seems to finally be emerging out of the woods.
Year over year ad revenue increased by 18 percent from Q1 2018 to Q1 2019. More users engaged with ads, with engagements increasing by 23 percent. And in total, Twitter ad revenue summed up to $679 million.
Compare these figures to 2017 to 2018 numbers. Revenue growth was stagnant and remained flat during that span.
What's Twitter doing that’s renewing confidence among advertisers? There's a few things, but they all focus on one key priority: user experience. CEO Jack Dorsey has championed three causes in 2019 that build on this foundation.
Improvements to Health & Safety
Twitter isn’t alone when it comes to addressing these issues. Facebook and its host of social properties face some of the same urgency. Twitter has been on a mission this year to reduce abuse and harassment for its users.
The social platform has improved its ability to analyze content with artificial intelligence. Thanks to AI, the company detected close to 40 percent of all abusive tweets in Q1. Compared to 2018, the number of abusive tweets detected by machine-learning was zero.
Twitter's also aware that online actions have offline consequences. Protecting people’s physical safety is core to their initiatives around health.
Doxing, for example, has become a hot button issue. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, here's an explanation. Doxing is the malicious publication of private information about someone online.
To curb this, Twitter introduced a new way to report compromised details. Its impact so far has been positive. Twitter’s gotten two-and-a-half times more private information removed since its implementation.
Doubling Down on Real-Time Events
It’s no secret that Twitter is at its best when used in real-time. Sporting events like the NBA Finals, World Cup, or Super Bowl are when Twitter shines most. Live events like breaking news coverage are also when users engage on the platform.
Twitter wants to organize the conversation around events in more fluid ways. To do this, it plans to create an experience that highlights the following attributes:
The top commentary of credible information sources
A recap of what the user might have missed
The latest conversations surrounding the event
Twitter wants to make this possible for evergreen topics and interests, too. The company’s goal is to make following an event or interest as simple as following another user.
Enhancing The Conversation
Dorsey believes that conversation is what separates Twitter from other social platforms. In his mind, Twitter is one of the best places to witness people’s thoughts and feelings on any given issue.
Twitter has done some experimenting with improving the way people talk to each other. It released a beta app to a small group of iOS users to test conversational functionality.
Instead of searching through many tweets, the app allows people to have a wide view of a conversation. To do this, Twitter has focused efforts two things. First, improving readability. And second, making it easier for people to jump into a conversation.
“Over the long term, we do believe the work will ensure people find a place that they can contribute, they can participate in, and want to do that more and more every single day,” Dorsey said.