Microblogging site Twitter has admitted to overstating its audience figures by as much as 1.9 million users for almost three years, Financial Times reported on Thursday.
In a report, the company which has recently accepted a buyout offer from billionaire Elon Musk, blamed the error on a technical feature.
The error first happened in 2019 and went unnoticed until this year.
According to the Financial Times, the error led to the overestimation of the monetizable daily active users or mDAU.
“In March of 2019, we launched a feature that allowed people to link multiple separate accounts together in order to conveniently switch between accounts,” the newspaper reported Twitter as saying.
“An error was made at that times, such that actions are taken via the primary account resulted in all linked accounts being counted as mDAU,” the social media platform added.
Twitter said that fake or spam accounts represented “fewer than five percent” of its mDAU during the quarter.
Notably, Musk has vowed to crack down on bots when he takes control of Twitter.
Less than expected revenues, active users rise
The company’s quarterly report also revealed that Twitter fell short of its revenue estimates.
The micro-blogging platform reported profits of $513.3 million, more than seven times the year-ago level following a one-time gain from a divestiture. Revenues rose 16 percent to $1.2 billion, a bit below the $1.22 billion expected by analysts.
But there were some encouraging indications as data showed a rise in the platform’s active users.
Twitter’s count of active users rose to 229 million, a bit above analyst expectations, AFP reported.
The results are expected to be among Twitter’s final earnings reports following the Musk deal, which is anticipated to close in 2022. In the wake of the deal, Twitter canceled its quarterly earnings conference call with analysts.
On Monday, Tesla Chief Executive Musk announced an agreement to acquire Twitter for $44 billion at $54.20 per share in cash.
Twitter had initially resisted Musk’s efforts, but abruptly shifted course after the brash entrepreneur lined up billions of dollars in financing from large banks to supplement the contribution from his personal fortune.
With inputs from agemcies