Twitter posts strongest growth in monthly users in a year

Despite stiff competition from Facebook Inc and Snap Inc, Twitter's monthly active users, one of the most closely watched metrics for analysts, increased by 6 percent, or 9 million, to 328 million in the first quarter from a year earlier.

During the first quarter of 2017, the social media icon's daily active usage grew by 14 per cent over the same period past year, while the average number of monthly active users reached 328 million, a six per cent increase from the previous quarter's 319 million.

Despite the company's quarterly revenue loss, Twitter saw its shares rise almost 9 percent to $15.94 in early pre-market trading on the New York Stock Exchange on the strength of its earnings beat.

Twitter has struggled to attract new users since the company went public in 2013.

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Twitter shares rallied 11 percent in pre-market trade, suggesting an easing of fears about the path forward for the micro-blogging service.

Live streaming was also strong, with live video reaching 45 million unique users.

Twitter's also had a problem with perma-stagnant user growth, with the number of monthly users hovering around the 310 - 320 million mark for the previous year.

Twitter plans to use its new momentum, combined with better ad pricing and improved returns on investment, to convince marketers to spend more. They are making their products easier to use.

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Trump's tweets haven't helped the company, Twitter has said.

Twitter reported Q1 earnings Wednesday and surprised Wall Street by adding nine million new users, its largest quarter-over-quarter jump in two years.

Twitter shares have risen strongly after the microblogging service reported better-than-expected user growth. Stifel analyst Scott Devitt said that while the National Football League deal likely contributed about 1 percent of Twitter's 2016 revenue, it "seemed to be an important pillar of Twitter's Live strategy". But overall, Twitter still expects revenue growth to "meaningfully lag audience growth in 2017".

"Twitter needs an about face on how it approaches both the user and monetization sides of the business", said James Cakmak, an analyst with Moness, Crespi, Hardt & Co.in an investor note. Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, were 11 cents per share.

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