The social network says revenue grew to $664.9m (£407.7m) in the 12 months to 31 December, up from $316.9m (£194.3m) a year earlier.
More than a third of that revenue was generated in the final qaurter of 2013. The company, reporting its first quarterly earnings as a public company, says revenue grew to $243m (£149m) in the three months to 31 December 2013, up 116 per cent in the same period a year ago.
The bulk of Twitter’s quarterly revenue came from advertising. Ad revenue grew by 121 per cent year on year to $220m (£134.9m). Three-quarters (75 per cent) of advertising revenue came from mobile.
Twitter has tried to avoid some of the criticism levelled at Facebook when it floated and has been quick to launch several advertising services in the hope of convincing marketers it is an effective channel to invest in.
It has launched tools to target TV audiences, promoted accounts in a users’ timeline, geo-location services and a self-service platform for small and medium–sized businesses.
Twitter’s user base grew 30 per cent year on year in the fourth quarter to reach 241 million. Of those, 184 million were mobile users, a 37 per cent increase on the same period a year earlier.
However, growth was slower than the 39 per cent registered a year earlier and it was up just 3.8 per cent on the previous quarter. User numbers had grown at 10,7 and 6 per cent in the first three quarters of 2013.
Sales and marketing costs soared in the quest to secure new users and advertisers, increasing to $177.3m (£108.7m) in the fourth quarter, up from $28.7m (£17.6m) a year earlier. Full-year sales and marketing costs totalled $316.2m (£193.9m). Twitter stated when it filed for its IPO that it needed to increase the amount of money it spent on educating marketers if it was grow its business.
Despite the revenue gains, operating expenses such as marketing and research and development meant Twitter’s net loss widened to $511m (£310m) in the fourth quarter from $8.7m (£5.3m) in the same period a year earlier. Its full-year loss was $645m (£392m).
The slow-down in users and widening losses appears to have spooked investors and its share price plunged by 15 per cent in after hours trading. The results are likely to lead to fresh accusations it was over-valued when it was floated
Dick Costolo, Twitter’s chief executive, says: “Twitter finished a great year with our strongest financial quarter to date. We are the only platform that is public, real-time, conversational and widely distributed and I’m excited by the number of initiatives we have underway to further build upon the Twitter experience.”