Twitter shares surge as users numbers rise and platform targets trolls

(c) Sky News 2019: <a href="">Twitter shares surge as users numbers rise and platform targets trolls</a>

Twitter shares have jumped sharply after the social media platform reported stronger user growth and progress in its efforts to curb malicious posts.

The company, which has been spending big on improving the user experience, beat market expectations with an 18% jump in revenue to $787m in the first three months of the year compared with the same period in 2018.

Shares rose 16% following the quarterly update.

Twitter said advertising sales, 18% higher than a year ago, accounted for the bulk of the revenue increase - with video ads making a greater contribution.

Analysts' eyes were on its user numbers amid predictions in some quarters that the stale performance during 2018 would continue.

Twitter, which only publicly started revealing the figures at the end of last year, said its 'monetisable' daily active users - which measures users exposed to advertising on a daily basis.- rose to 134 million in the three months.

That represented a 12% increase.

The company said it remained profitable, with earnings growing more than 200% to 191m in the period aided by a tax benefit, despite operating expenses hitting $693m.

The firm blamed its crackdown on abusive user behaviour that has seen it hire more staff.

Chief executive Jack Dorsey said: "We are reducing the burden on victims and, where possible, taking action before abuse is reported.

"For example, we are now removing 2.5 times more Tweets that share personal information and 38% of abusive Tweets that are taken down every week are being proactively detected by machine learning models.

"We're also continuing our work to make Twitter more conversational via the launch of our public prototype app (twttr), with the end goal of making conversation on Twitter feel faster, more fluid, and more fun."