The digital ad market saw some surprising shifts in the first quarter, most notably Google’s sudden slowdown in growth. But the biggest surprise was Twitter, the company left for dead by Wall Street just 18 months ago, which posted much stronger advertising revenue. That lifted its stock 10% to its highest point since last June.
Twitter is far from returning to its glory days of 2013, when monthly users were growing 30%. In the most recent quarter, daily users were up 11.6% to just 134 million, about a third less than Snap’s and a fraction of Facebook’s 1.6 billion. Monthly users, meanwhile, are shrinking. But Twitter has figured out how to translate its niche appeal to lure advertisers—most importantly, big brand marketers best known for advertising on TV, according to Twitter’s head of revenue Matthew Derella, in an interview with The Information.