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Twitter kept gaining new users after it banned Trump

Twitter kept gaining new users after it banned Trump


But user growth is beginning to slow

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Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

Twitter doesn’t need Donald Trump to keep growing. The company said today that it ended 2020 with 192 million daily users, and the figure continued to grow in January — the month when Trump was banned from the platform. Twitter didn’t offer a specific daily usage figure for January, but it said daily user growth was “above the historical average from the last four years.”

“We are a platform that is obviously much larger than any one topic or account,” Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said — without specifying which one account he might have in mind — on a call with investors today.

The usage details were given in Twitter’s Q4 2020 earnings release, which covers October through the end of December 2020. That means the release wouldn’t normally touch on information from January, but Twitter said it was offering the details “given the unusual circumstances this quarter.” It’s not clear how much Trump’s presence boosted usage of Twitter over the years, but the expectation has been that having the president of the United States as a regular user was probably to Twitter’s benefit.

Though the Trump ban may not have had an immediate impact, Twitter does warn that its growth is going to slow. The company says that after “our tremendous growth in 2020,” the figures for 2021 are going to look a little worse. For the first three months of 2021, Twitter expects to grow daily users by 20 percent year over year, down from 24 percent in 2020. Twitter expects growth in the “low double digits” for the remainder of the year, with Q2 being the low point. Twitter says the slowdown is due to “the significant pandemic-related surge” in usage last year.

Update February 9th, 6:47PM ET: This story has been updated with a comment from Twitter’s investor call.