Twitter makes a profit for the first time

Twitter has reported its first quarterly net profit helped by a rise in video advertising sales.

The news sent the price of Twitter shares surging 26% in pre-market trading in New York.

That was despite the number of people using the social network coming in below expectations.

Twitter's previous failure to make a profit had confounded investors given its widespread use and popularity among celebrities and politicians.

Net profit was $91.1m (£65m) in the fourth quarter of 2017, compared with a loss of $167.1m for the same period a year ago.

In October last year, Twitter had suggested a profit was likely as it sought to cut costs, but both profit and revenue outstripped investors' expectations.

Its user numbers though, were fairly flat. Twitter reported 330 million active users a month, a rise of 4% on last year but no change on the previous quarter. Monthly active users in the US were down to 68 million from 69 million in the third quarter.

Twitter said user number growth had been held back by "seasonal weakness" and changes made by Apple to its Safari web browser, which cut user numbers by two million.

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