Twitter’s users are still growing at a slow rate, but its revenue is booming.
Today, Twitter reported fourth quarter earnings for 2014, with revenue of $479 million on non-GAAP earnings per share (EPS) of $0.12. Analysts had expected EPS of $0.06 and revenue of $453.14 million.
The catalyst of Twitter’s revenue growth is its advertising unit, which saw year-over-year growth of 97 percent.
But in Q4 Twitter only added 4 million users during the quarter, for a total of 288 million users. The slow user growth is a trend continuing from prior quarters. From Q1 to Q2, Twitter’s user base grew by 6.2 percent. Then in the following quarter, growth slowed down to 4.8 percent.
After a series of quarters showing slowed growth, investors really wanted to see Twitter break its slothy streak — and they’re going to hold CEO Dick Costolo accountable.
No doubt, Costolo is feeling the pressure. Twitter chairman Jack Dorsey recently fired off a tweetstorm advocating for Costolo and the platform as a whole. Then, yesterday, a leaked internal memo from Costolo identified trolls, also known as cyber-bullies, as the source of Twitter’s user woes.
Now the company has to take trolls head on, wrote Costolo.
While those plans are in development, Twitter has already signed some other agreements that may help the company build its user base. Twitter and Google reportedly inked a deal to make tweets searchable on Google. The company also signed an agreement with magazine aggregator Flipboard and Yahoo Japan to place Twitter ad campaigns on their platforms.
In after-hours trading, Twitter’s stock is up a little over 2 percent.
Check out VentureBeat’s full coverage of Twitter earnings for more context.