Twitter entered the world of ‘public companies’ in a blaze of glory – now it is time for it to deliver.
Finally, even the brains behind Twitter have admitted that their design is flawed, or in other words: #fail @Twitter. Too many people have no clue.
After a successful IPO, Twitter’s fourth quarter growth was its slowest yet, hinting at the unlikelihood of continuing torrid expansion. In fact, 10% of its value was wiped.
While the company posted better-than-expected quarterly revenue of $US243 million (AU$272 million) in its first results as a public company, investors vented their spleen (and in some cases trolled) as they focused on anaemic user growth and severe decline in timeline views.
Users @Twitter just aren’t using.
The numbers are unimpressive. Twitter averaged 241 million monthly users in the December quarter, up just 3.8% from the previous three months – the lowest rate of quarter-on-quarter since Twitter began disclosing user figures.
“What this report will do is it will question how mainstream is Twitter as a platform,” said Arvind Bhatia, an analyst at Sterne, Agee & Leach. “Both in the US and internationally, the monthly active user base did not grow as fast as people thought, and that has an impact on the number of timeline views.”
Timeline views dropped from 159 billion to 148 billion in the quarter.
As we all know, Twitter allows users to send 140-character messages through its mobile app or online. It sounds easy, but as dwindling numbers suggest, it’s not.
Twitter chief executive Dick Costolo told investors: “We simply need to make Twitter a better Twitter.”
Costolo said the company is working on improvements to its web software and mobile apps to make it easier for new users to sign up and current ones to find the most relevant information on topics they care about.
Twitter will also make it easier to send private messages between users.
“We will continue to invest in making Twitter a more visually engaging medium,” Costolo said. “It will be a combination of changes introduced over the year that we believe will begin to change the slope of the growth curve.”
Mark Mahaney, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, said it is important to remember that Twitter is a young company.
“This company hasn’t focused on engagement until recently,” he said.
“My guess is that the appeal of the service to users will improve over time.”
And it probably will, but let’s face it: unless you’re a celebrity, sports star or completely vain and want people to know your every move, Twitter is less relevant than other social media…
Excerpted from an article originally published in the April/May 2014 issue of Think & Grow Rich Inc. magazine. If you are a subscriber to Think & Grow Rich Inc. magazine, you will receive this article in your April/May 2014 issue of TGR. If you are not a subscriber, click here to subscribe.