Twitter makes a profit for the first time ever

Twitter, for as ubiquitous as it seems in modern daily life, has historically had a profit problem. For each quarter since it went public four years ago, Twitter has failed to turn a profit, focusing more on spending to keep growth going around the world. That trend has finally come to an end, even if only temporarily, as Twitter has announced that it made a profit in its last quarter.

Twitter shared its financial results for Q4 2017 and the year as a whole today, and in it, it notes that in the final quarter it achieved GAAP profitability for the first time. That's big news for investors who have been waiting for this day to come, though its worth noting that on the whole, Twitter still lost money, posting a GAAP net loss of $108 million for the year.

Still, total revenue was fairly level year-over-year, decreasing only 3% to $2.4 billion. Revenue for Q4, meanwhile, rose 2% year-over-year to $734 million. The fact that Twitter made money in the fourth quarter seems to be down to cutting costs, with total GAAP expenses down 28% year-over-year. That's a significant drop, so if Twitter can keep this up, we may see more profitable quarters as we move through its fiscal year for 2018.

In terms of users, Twitter experienced growth in active users both on a monthly and daily basis. Monthly active users climbed 4% year-over-year to land at 330 million, while daily active users jumped up a healthy 12%. However, in the US, Twitter says that it lost 2% of its monthly active users, which dipped down to 68 million (representing a loss of 1 million for the quarter). Twitter blames this on Safari's changes to third-party app integration, noting that since those Safari users aren't served ads, they aren't counted among monthly active users.

That seems to be one of the few blemishes on Twitter's year-end report, so you have to imagine that investors are generally happy with the results. It'll be interesting to see if Twitter can keep making money and continue to grow in monthly and daily active users throughout 2018. Stay tuned.