Twitter easily topped Wall Street financial expectations for the second quarter of 2021 — with its strongest quarterly revenue growth since 2014 — and grew its global user base despite a sequential drop in the U.S.
The social network reported average monetizable daily active users of 206 million for Q2, up from 199 million in the first quarter and up 11% year over year.
All of Twitter’s DAU growth came from overseas: Average U.S. daily active users were 37 million for the period, down about 1 million from 38 million in the previous quarter. Average international mDAU were 169 million for Q2, compared with 162 million in the previous quarter and 150 million in Q2 2020.
“As we enter the second half of 2021, we are shipping more, learning faster and hiring remarkable talent,” Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said in announcing the results.
Historical trends suggest U.S. monetizable DAU “could be flat on a sequential basis in Q3’21,” the company said in its shareholder letter. “Longer term, we remain confident in our ability to accelerate mDAU growth in both the U.S. and international markets.”
Q2 revenue totaled $1.19 billion, an increase of 74% year over year. Net income was $66 million, representing a net margin of 6% and adjusted earnings per share of 20 cents. On average, financial analysts expected Twitter to post $1.06 billion in revenue and adjusted EPS of 7 cents.
Twitter shares were up more than 5% in after-hours trading on the earnings beat.
The company said it continues “to see modest impact from the rollout of changes associated with iOS 14.5,” which Apple changes to require users to explicitly opt-in for ad tracking.
In announcing Q2 results, Twitter updated its outlook for expense growth and revenue. The company now expects headcount, along with total costs and expenses, to grow at least 30% for the full year of 2021 with a focus on engineering and product.
Last week, Twitter announced that it will shut down Fleets, its vanishing-message format, as of Aug. 3, citing lower-than-expected engagement.
Meanwhile, the company is looking to build new subscription revenue streams. In June, it opened applications for creators to test out Super Follows, which allows them to sell subscriptions with special perks, and Ticketed Spaces (paid audio chat rooms). Twitter will let creators keep 97% of the revenue they generate from Super Follows or Ticketed Spaces (after in-app purchase fees collected by Apple’s App Store and Google Play) up to $50,000 in lifetime earnings, at which point Twitter will take a 20% cut.
The company also last month launched Twitter Blue, a subscription service priced around $3/month in Australia and Canada, aimed at giving power users premium features like being able to set a timer of up to 30 seconds to “under” a tweet to edit it before going live.