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Bought at a high price by Elon Musk, Twitter is still looking for ways to make money

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A disproportionate media weight but disappointing financial results. The social network Twitter announced this Thursday, April 28, an increase in the first quarter of 2022 in its turnover of 16%, or 1.2 billion dollars (1.1 billion euros). If the profits for this quarter seem high (nearly 500 million euros), this is largely due to the sale of one of its subsidiaries. Operating profit remains in the red, with a loss of more than 120 million euros.

Despite a constant increase in its turnover, the company acquired on Tuesday by billionaire Elon Musk is therefore struggling to derive from its activity an income commensurate with its influence. Over one year, the social network has seen its advertising revenue increase by 23%, but subscriptions and other sources of income have fallen by 31% since April 2021.

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A buyout for 42 billion euros

In the last quarter of last year, the San Francisco-based company had again unveiled results below expectations, despite an increase in the number of users of six million between October and December 2021. Its turnover on a year had then increased by 22%, bringing to just under 5 billion euros, but the Californian firm accused at the same time 210 million euros of losses.

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Since its creation in 2006, Twitter has only seen two years of profit, in 2018 and 2019. The social network has not yet managed to attract enough “monetizable” users to generate satisfactory advertising revenue. Twitter has 229 million, far from the 1.93 billion subscribers of its rival Facebook.

The low revenues generated by Twitter contrast with the 44 billion dollars (41.8 billion euros) put on the table by Elon Musk to buy the social network. Find an economic model allowing the company to be profitable or, at least, not to lose money, will be one of the main challenges of the richest man in the world, who himself indicated that his motivations were other than financial. “It’s no way to make moneyhe assured. I just have the strong intuition that having a public platform open to as many people as possible is extremely important for the future of our civilization. »

→ DEBATE. Should we continue to use Twitter?

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The boss of Tesla and SpaceX bought Twitter with the intention of taking the company out of the New York Stock Exchange and removing moderation on the social network in the name of freedom of expression. “Freedom of expression is the foundation of democracy that worksjustified Elon Musk, and Twitter is the digital public square where vital issues for the future of humanity are debated. »

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