It is quite hard to tell how many fake twitter accounts are out there. A study released in 2017 found that as much as 15% of active Twitter accounts were controlled by bots. Twitter says only about 5% of its accounts are run by bots.
The concerns about bots is just the newest black eye for Twitter, which struggles with everything from revenge porn & nonstop pestering among some users to concerns about how its service might have been used by Russian operatives in an attempt to influence the 2016 election.
But the fake twitter accounts raise larger questions about Twitter’s health as a company. Monthly active users is the metric that investors watch to decide the company’s health. For the 3 months ended December 31, it rose 4% to 330 million, continuing a trend of low, single-digit growth for the service. That overall figure is as well nowhere close to rival Facebook, which has 2.13 billion users.
The silver lining here is that Twitter, on Thursday, posted its first-ever profit of $91.1 million on $731.6 million of revenue.
The company’s daily active users also rose 12% from a year ago.
“I’m proud of the steady progress we made in 2017, & confident in our path ahead,” Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said in the company’s report.
Twitter shares rose 11.5% to $30 a share in premarket trading.