Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. Photo: dpa via AFP/Rolf Vennenbernd
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has vowed to help foster bitcoin's development through his payments company, Square. Photo: dpa via AFP/Rolf Vennenbernd

Just one day after Facebook shares recorded the largest-ever single-day loss for a US-listed company, Twitter is joining the bloodbath, erasing as much as almost 20% of its stock value in trading on Friday.

The selloff came after news that active users on the social-media platform fell by 3 million in the second quarter, a consequence of efforts to improve the platform, including removing suspicious accounts, the company said.

“We will continue to work hard to improve the health of the platform, providing updates on our progress at least quarterly, and prioritizing health efforts regardless of the near-term impact on metrics, as we believe the best driver of long-term growth of Twitter as a daily utility is a healthy conversation,” Twitter said in a letter to shareholders.

The statement also indicated that some of the purgings of fake and malicious accounts happened after the second-quarter reporting period, and a further decline could be expected in the third quarter.

“As a result of our health work, decisions not to renew or move to paid SMS carrier relationships in certain markets, and our decision to allocate resources towards GDPR and health, MAU [monthly active users] could decline on a sequential basis in Q3. Based on our current level of visibility, we expect the decline to be mid-single-digit millions of MAU. As a reminder, DAU [daily active users] growth continues to be the best measure of our success in driving the use of Twitter as a daily utility,” the statement said.

Twitter’s woes echo the troubles facing fellow Wall Street darling Facebook, which has also been forced to undertake painful changes to its platform amid scandals. In both cases, prospects for future growth have become increasingly dim.

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