Twitter reports a drop in quarterly revenue, citing Elon Musk and sluggish ads : NPR


A Twitter logo is displayed on a screen at the New York Stock Exchange in early July.

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Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

A Twitter logo is displayed on a screen at the New York Stock Exchange in early July.

Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Twitter lost $270 million in the quarter that ended in June, falling short of revenue expectations for the second quarter in a row, the social network reported Friday. The company cited uncertainty surrounding Elon Musk’s acquisition of the company and advertisers nervous about the economy.

One bright spot in the social networking platform’s report, however, was the number of users — an increase of nearly 9 million. Twitter attributed the growth to product improvements and global interest in current events. The company also added users the previous quarter.

The company did not elaborate on its release, citing the pending deal with Tesla CEO Musk.

This year has been a wild one for Twitter. In April, Musk made an unsolicited offer to buy the company for $54.20 a share. That was 38% more than what Twitter’s stock was valued at just a day earlier — and well above the current share price.

After a back and forth between Musk and Twitter’s board, they struck a deal less than two weeks after Musk first announced he wanted to buy the company. Under it, he’d pay about $44 billion.

But since then, Musk has publicly shared his concerns about the prevalence of spam and fake accounts on the platform. Earlier this month he made it official: he was breaking off the deal.

Twitter quickly sued Musk to force him to abide by the legal agreement he signed. The company argues that the billionaire’s concerns about bots are pretext to cover a change of heart that came as the economy has worsened.

The trial is set for October.

During a court hearing earlier this week, Twitter lawyer Bill Savitt argued that the uncertainty hanging over the deal “inflicts harm on Twitter every hour of every day.”

Twitter expects to hold a shareholder vote on the deal later this summer.

The maker of the social network Snapchat similarly announced disappointing second-quarter results. Snap said on Thursday that sales grew at the slowest pace since it became a public company five years ago. It cited a number of factors, including inflation, rising interest rates and the war in Ukraine — all of which have led companies to slash their advertising budgets.

Other major tech companies, including Meta, Google and Apple, announce their quarterly earnings next week.

NPR’s Shannon Bond contributed to this story.