Twitter shares dropped as much as 10 percent Thursday after the social network said it would stop reporting its closely watched — and usually lackluster — monthly active user metrics.
The abrupt change, coupled with a weaker-than-expected earnings report, spooked investors and overshadowed strong fourth-quarter results that included a 24-percent jump in revenue.
Monthly active users totaled 321 million in the fourth quarter, down from 330 million a year earlier and 326 million in the third quarter.
Next quarter, Twitter said, it will stop disclosing MAUs in favor of a different stat: monetizable daily active users, or the number of users who are exposed to ads on the social network each day.
“We want to align our external shareholders around one metric that reflects our goal of delivering value to people on Twitter every day and monetizing that usage,” chief financial officer Ned Segal said.
Twitter also worried investors with a forecast for a 20-percent jump in operating expenses in 2019 due to efforts to improve the health of its platform, exceeding analysts’ average estimate of 12 percent.
Overall revenue in the fourth quarter rose to $909 million, handily beating analysts’ estimate of $868.2 million.
Twitter shares closed down 9.8 percent, at $30.80.