Part of what helped drive the platform’s first profitable quarter was a cost-cutting program in 2016, including a 9% workforce reduction.
But now Twitter is looking to ramp up hiring with a focus on the sales group, CFO Ned Segal told investors.
“We’re having such different conversations with advertisers now than even a year ago,” he said, citing improved ad formats, audience engagement and attributable ROI as areas where the company’s pitch has strengthened.
Specifically, Twitter is working harder to demonstrate ad value. It ran 62% more custom measurement studies last quarter than it did the year before, said CEO Jack Dorsey.
Twitter also stressed its high expectations for live video and streaming content partnerships, an area championed by Anthony Noto, the former COO who left in January to take over as CEO at online lender SoFi.
Twitter ran about 1,100 streaming content deals last quarter, up from 800 the prior quarter.
Even the most prominent of Twitter’s content deals, like Bloomberg’s TicToc news stream and BuzzFeed’s “AM to DM” morning news program, aren’t powerful individual revenue drivers.
But the news and streaming partnerships “have a positive impact on advertising,” Dorsey said. They raise positive sentiment for viewers, and the heavier video load has helped Twitter grow its average CPM.
Twitter won’t be replacing Noto, but it has tried to unify content and revenue strategy, Dorsey said, by handing global revenue VP Matt Derella more responsibility over content partnerships.