San Francisco — On Friday, Twitter reported fewer monthly active users than analysts expected, and warned that the closely watched figure could keep falling as it deletes phoney accounts, sending shares sharply lower in early trading. The company said the work it was doing to clean up Twitter by purging automated and spam accounts had some effect on its user metrics in the second quarter, and that it would prioritise work to improve suspicious accounts and reduce hate speech and other abusive content over projects that could attract more users. Monthly active users fell by one-million in the second quarter from the first to 335-million. Analysts had expected a gain of one-million users, and the results could harden concerns that Twitter lacks a clear strategy to grapple with various platform problems and grow usage and revenue together. Twitter said the decline in the third quarter would be in the mid-single-digit millions, suggesting a sequential decline to about 330-million users....

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