Twitter Shares Climb, as Tweaks to Site Drive Higher Profits

The social-media company’s net income more than tripled to $191 million in the first quarter

“They’re doing what they’re supposed to do,” said Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter. “They’re growing revenue and controlling operating expenses.”

Central to Twitter’s changes is an effort to promote healthy discourse, after the company has struggled to rein in toxic behavior. It has also been working to make the platform more conversational.

Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey told analysts Tuesday that the company is now taking a more proactive approach to addressing abuse and its effects on the platform.

It has made changes that are “taking a bunch of the burden away from the victims of abuse and harassment on our service and we’re making the agents that we have working on this process much more effective and much more efficient,” Mr. Dorsey said.

Earlier this month, Twitter announced that it was using machine learning algorithms to proactively surface abusive tweets to its teams for review. Previously, Twitter users had to flag offending tweets before the company would remove them. Now, about 38% of abusive content that Twitter takes down is surfaced by the algorithms.

This isn’t the first time Twitter has used machine-learning technology, but previously it was applied to tracking spam.

Twitter is also now using a new appeals process to better prioritize tweets it should remove that contain private information about its users. Twitter now removes 2.5 times more tweets that share personal information since the launch of this feature.

For Twitter’s business, trying to reduce abuse and negative content can cut both ways. In previous quarters, declines in user accounts were attributed in part to efforts to purge more of the spam and accounts that violated Twitter’s rules.

Still, a platform with less abuse could retain more users and assuage marketers’ fears about advertising alongside offensive tweets.

.. Twitter is now working to make its platform more conversational. The company is testing a new version of its app, called twttr, that threads message replies in a more intuitive design that makes it easier to follow discussions.

The company also plans to start experimenting with ways to give people more control over their conversations by giving users the option to hide replies to their tweets.

Twitter also made other tweaks to its platform in the quarter that helped drive more people to its app and bolster the effectiveness of ads, including refining its algorithm to show users more personalized tweets and adjusting the size of its video player.

“We intend to move much faster” to improve the user experience, Mr. Dorsey said. Twitter is “heading in the right direction, but we still have some work to do.”

The company expanded its head count in the first quarter to about 4,100, from about 3,900 the previous quarter.

Twitter projects revenue to also increase, to between $770 million and $830 million for the second quarter.

Analyzing Trump’s Tweets

A Data-Based Analysis of Trump’s Language on Twitter

All of these attacks can be placed into 6 main buckets. These include accusations of weakness, stupidity, failure, illegitimacy, corruption or fear-based attacks. Some examples are below.

1 — Weakness— ie. low, old, lightweight, losing, losers, ridiculous, poor, pathetic

eg. “The U.S. has pathetically weak and ineffective Immigration Laws that the Democrats refuse to help us fix.”

2 — Stupidity — ie. dopey, incompetent, clueless, moron

eg. “Paul Begala, the dopey @CNN flunky and head of the Pro-Hillary Clinton Super PAC, has knowingly committed fraud in his first ad against me.”

3 — Failure — ie. failing, failed, disaster

eg. “No wonder the @nytimes is failing — who can believe what they write after the false, malicious & libelous story they did on me.”

4 — Illegitimacy⁵ — ie. fake, false, biased, hoax, haters, unfair, a joke, rigged

eg. “Wow, sleepy eyes @chucktodd is at it again. He is do [sic] totally biased.”

5 — Corrupt — ie crooked

e.g “Big story out that the FBI ignored tens of thousands of Crooked Hillary Emails, many of which are REALLY BAD”

6 — Fear — ie. enemy, threat, radical

eg. “Many of the Syrian rebels are radical jihadi Islamists who are murdering Christians”


.. Looking at the dates of Trump’s tweets, we can see how much he has used the service over time. Believe it or not, Trump’s Twitter use has declined since he became president. It seems like it peaked in 2013 when he was A/B testing his Obama attacks and first dipping his toes in presidential politics.

.. We can also look at the times of day that Trump tweets the most. It seems that his Twitter use starts first thing in the morning and builds throughout the day, peaking around 3pm. A not-insignificant number of tweets are sent in the middle of the night too.