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Twitter shares plummet almost a fifth, as it makes conversational “health” its top priority

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Twitter shares have crashed, losing a fifth of their value in the premarket as the social platform not only missed third-quarter revenue expectations but missed Q4 revenue expectations by an unexpectedly high margin.

Shares fell by almost 20% in pre-market trading to below $31.30 per share, the lowest since March of this year.

Twitter is expecting headwinds from revenue product issues, such as its advertising platform which many marketers say pales in comparison to competitors such as Google and Facebook.

It’s also expecting product bugs to significantly dampen the overall performance through to the end of the year.

Twitter is blaming bugs in its mobile apps for errors that are significant to the missed targets. Bugs have affected Twitter’s ability to target adverts at users and to share data with clients, Twitter said.

With accusations of censorship from conservatives and accusations of not censoring enough from leftists, Twitter has, over the last quarter, made significant changes to its platform which it says will improve the “health” of the platform.

“Health is going to be an ongoing initiative for us,” Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said in a conference call on Thursday morning. “It’s going to be our No. 1 priority for quite some time.”

From Twitter’s revenue report to shareholders:

“Our highest priority is to improve the health of the public conversation on Twitter, and an important part of that is ensuring our rules, and how we enforce them, are easy to understand. In Q2, we refreshed our rules with simple, clear language, and reorganized the rules into high-level categories across safety, privacy, and authenticity. We also added detail around other policies, including those related to protecting the integrity of election-related conversations, platform manipulation, and spam, and we expanded our hateful conduct policy, maintaining our focus on physical safety by expanding protections against dehumanizing language, which can lead to violence.”

It’s not clear what effect Twitter’s new stricter rules are having on user engagement and user morale on the platform.

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