San Francisco (AFP) - Twitter on Monday dialed back its earnings expectations for the current quarter amid a massive disruption in online advertising stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, even though the service has become a hub of conversation about the crisis.
The San Francisco company is among numerous firms expected to take a hit from the crisis, which has already altered many consumer and online habits.
Twitter said it is "withdrawing" its earlier forecast for the first quarter of 2020 and now expects an operating loss along with declining revenues.
Online advertising is expected to be impacted by the pandemic as many marketing campaigns are cut back, and ad targeting is thrown into chaos.
Chief financial officer Ned Segal said the downturn has hit the tech platform after starting the year on a promising note.
"The COVID-19 impact began in Asia, and as it unfolded into a global pandemic, it has impacted Twitter's advertising revenue globally more significantly in the last few weeks."
Chief executive Jack Dorsey said Twitter remains committed "to serve the public conversation," during the crisis.
"We're seeing a meaningful increase in people using Twitter, and our teams are demonstrating incredible resilience adapting to this unprecedented environment," he said.
The number of people using Twitter daily has climbed 23 percent to 164 million from the first quarter last year, with the coronavirus pandemic a main topic of conversation at the one-to-many messaging platform, according to the company.