Is Political Drama Driving Twitter’s User Growth? Execs Say It’s One Factor of Many

Social Media Week

The dramatic political climate seems to be good for business for Twitter, with the platform exceeding its daily active user projections by 7 million last quarter.

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The increased fervor around political discourse following last year’s Presidential Election has seemed to translate into a more active and engaged user base on Twitter.

Twitter reported a 9 million uptick in daily active users in Q1 2017, which is 7 million more than was anticipated and marks the strongest quarterly gain in more than two years. Twitter shares soared as a result, despite the company posting its first ever Q1 loss.

Twitter COO Anthony Noto wouldn’t say that the bump could be categorically attributed to Trump in particular, but he did admit that the President has put Twitter in “the spotlight.” He also said that he would “love” if all world leaders would use Twitter as their primary platform for disseminating news and information to their constituents.

Twitter was built for real-time commentary on live or current events, and so the platform will often see spikes during breaking news windows, award shows, major sporting events and more. The more passionate people are about these events, the more they appear to be engaging on the platform, utilizing it as a forum to share real-time reactions.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey points to internal factors, outside of the intense political climate, as factors contributing to increased user activity. Such factors include product enhancements like machine learning and push notifications, and efforts to crack down on abusive content.

In addition the so-called political bump, Twitter is continuing to capitalize on its investment in live video. The company recently announced a partnership with Bloomberg Media in an effort to create a 24/7 streaming television station solely for the Twitter platform. Shares gained following the announcement, reaching their highest value in months.

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Katie Perry

Contributor, Social Media Week

Katie Perry is a marketing & content strategist and contributor to SMW News, a leading news platform covering startups, tech, brands and the future of work. You can follow Katie on Twitter at @katieeperry.

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