Twitter spent $33m in three months on Elon Musk deal

By Zoe Kleinman

Technology editor

Close up of Elon MuskImage source, Reuters

Twitter spent $33m (£27m) on Elon Musk’s proposed deal to buy the firm between April and June 2022.

It also said its number of monthly daily users had risen to 237m – but it reported a net loss of $270m, which was worse than expected.

Mr Musk has since changed his mind about the purchase, and a court date is now set for October because Twitter wants to force through the sale.

There is a $1bn termination fee potentially at stake.

Twitter declined to discuss its latest financial results, citing the “pending acquisition” as the reason.

The report covers the period from April to June 2022.

Twitter has doubled-down on its position on the amount of spam and fake accounts on the platform – the reason Elon Musk had given for terminating the deal.

“We have performed an internal review of a sample of accounts and estimate that the average of false or spam accounts during the second quarter of 2022 represented fewer than 5% of our [monthly active users] during the quarter,” it said – although it added that the figure was an estimate.

In 2021, Twitter’s revenue was $5bn (£4.2bn), but in the last 12 months its share price has fallen by 45%.

Image source, Getty Images

Analyst Mike Proulx from the firm Forrester said Twitter was in “purgatory”.

“Twitter now has an acquirer who no longer wants it, a CEO and board who wants to get rid of it, and an employee base which is caught in the middle of it all,” he said.

“The real victim from all this drama is Twitter itself.”

On Thursday Snap, which owns Snapchat, reported revenue of $1.11bn for the three months to the end of June, which missed Wall Street expectations.

Its shares slumped by more than 25% after the news.

It said some of its advertisers had cut their spending, faced with rising costs.

It also said it had been affected by a change made by Apple last year, which meant iPhone and iPad users could opt out of being tracked by apps.

This has affected the personalisation of ads – a very valuable service to tech firms – because they can no longer see their users’ other online activities and tailor advertising accordingly.

Twitter said its ad revenue had increased by just 2%, to $1.08bn.

Meta and Google’s parent company, Alphabet, is due to report its earnings next week.

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