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Twitter fails to hit profitability despite sales and users surge

Twitter’s inability to turn a profit from its vast army of users has been thrown into sharp relief with publication of its latest results, which show it losing $175m between July and September despite a surge in sales and users.

Ostensibly promising figures showing sales up 114 per cent to $361m and a 23 per cent rise in monthly active users to 284m failed to mollify investors with shares dropping 8 per cent in after-hours trading.

This was due to the figures falling substantially behind analyst forecasts of around $450m in sales. Further adding to the gloom was a 7 per cent decline in timeline views per user, regarded as a key metric od user engagement.

Twitter chief Dick Costolo nevertheless described it as a "very strong financial quarter", adding: “I'm confident in our ability to build the largest daily audience in the world.”

The latest status update from the micro-blogging site has fed fears that it is falling further behind market leader Facebook.