July 9, 2018 / 3:58 PM / 2 months ago

Twitter shares fall after report says account suspensions to cause user decline

(Reuters) - Shares of Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) fell 9 percent on Monday after a report said the social media company had suspended more than 70 million fake accounts in May and June, which could lead to a decline of monthly active users in the second quarter.

FILE PHOTO: The Twitter logo is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., September 28, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The slump wiped about $3 billion from the microblogging site’s market valuation, which had stood at about $35 billion on Friday. Twitter shares were last down 8.6 percent at $42.62.

“Such reaction is due likely to the assumption that the lower user count would attract less ad dollars,” Morningstar analyst Ali Mogharabi said.

Mogharabi, however, pointed to big advertisers now paying more attention to the quality content alongside which their ads are placed.

The company has suspended more than one million accounts a day in recent months to reduce the flow of misinformation on the platform, the Washington Post reported late on Friday, citing data it obtained.

Twitter declined to confirm the figures reported by the Washington Post.

"MAU may continue to be negatively impacted in future periods due to our ongoing information quality efforts... While the magnitude of any potential future impacts is difficult to predict, we believe that DAU (Daily Active Users) will be less affected than MAU," Twitter had said in a letter here to shareholders during the first quarter.

Twitter reported 336 million MAU in the first quarter. MAU is expected to grow nearly 3 percent to 337.06 million in the second quarter, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Reporting by Munsif Vengattil and Vibhuti Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr

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