Twitter users up but 'headwinds' forecast

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Twitter logo and phoneImage source, AFP

The number of people using Twitter has risen and the firm's losses narrowed in the first three months of this year.

Its most famous frequent user, Donald Trump, is taking to Twitter less since assuming the US presidency, but active users of the message-in-brief platform have still risen by 14%, the firm said.

However, revenue from advertising fell by almost 8% from a year earlier.

"We continue to face revenue headwinds," said Twitter's chief executive, Jack Dorsey.

"We believe that executing on our plan and growing our audience should result in positive revenue growth over the long term," he said. The firm said the number of people using the service actively every month was up 6%.

Mr Dorsey said the increase in users was in part because the service had been streamlined to make it a better experience for users, including measures to reduce abusive content.

The company has been trying to convince advertisers that it can strengthen its user base and has launched new features, including live video broadcasting.

The results were better than expected by market analysts and Twitter shares rose 11%.

The 7.8% fall in revenues was mitigated by the news that net losses had fallen to $61.6m (£48m) in the first three months of this year from $79.7m in the same quarter of 2016.

Twitter said 328 million people logged in to use the platform between January and March.

"We continue to expect revenue growth to meaningfully lag audience growth in 2017," the company said.