Rooney scores for DC United
Rooney scores for DC United in MLS

Coverage of major football and baseball games in the US helped Twitter generate better-than-expected sales and profits in the third quarter.

According to the social network, revenue jumped 29% to $758m in the period, beating analyst estimates.

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But its total number of users declined as it closed “spammy and suspicious” accounts, and it forecast further falls.

The results sent shares in the company up by 15%.

In the last few years, the social network has found it hard to maintain growth in the face of intense competition from rivals such as Facebook and Instagram.

It has also struggled to convince advertisers that its messaging platform is the best forum for their campaigns.

But in the three months to 30 September, advertising revenue jumped by a third, boosted by advertiser interest in live broadcasts, a relatively new area for the platform.

During the period, Twitter streamed Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer games, as well as concerts in partnership with Live Nation.