Twitter stock took another hit on Tuesday, dropping by more than 10% in after-hours trading in the hour after the company revealed it had failed to add any new users in the US for the second quarter in a row.
In order to halt the slowdown Twitter is turning to old media, it will start airing TV ads during the World Series baseball championship starting Tuesday night.
The company’s latest quarterly earning showed once again how the social media platform is struggling to gain new members. At the end of September, Twitter had a core audience of 307 million active users, adding just 3 million worldwide during the three months since June – a gain of less than 2%.
The number of US users – the most valuable to advertisers – has remained flat at 66 million since the start of the year and failed to grow again over the last quarter.
While Twitter has remained popular with celebrities and media outlets it has so far failed to find the kind of mass market appeal that has made Facebook so ubiquitous. Instagram now has 400 million users and is growing at a faster pace than Twitter.
During the conference call with investors, co-founder and newly appointed CEO Jack Dorsey emphasized that Twitter was focusing on becoming more disciplined and efficient, simplifying its services and better communicating its values. “Twitter is getting easier to use every single week,” Dorsey said.
Dorsey’s first move after his appointment was to announce an 8% cut in Twitter’s workforce, including engineers, a move that shocked many in the tech industry, where demand has outstripped supply for years. On the call Dorsey added that the company will be able to move faster in “smaller, nimbler teams”.
Dorsey took over after Twitter’s former CEO Dick Costolo was ousted following last quarter’s disappointing results. He has moved to simplify the company’s service in order to attract new users. “We’ve simplified our roadmap and organization around a few big bets across Twitter, Periscope and Vine that we believe represent our largest opportunities for growth,” said Dorsey.
Dorsey highlighted the power of Twitter by pointing to #IstandwithAhmed hashtag that started trending on the service after school student Ahmed Mohamed was handcuffed for bringing a homemade clock to school. Dorsey said that Twitter was so inspired by the 14-year-old Texas student that it offered him an internship.
Twitter’s revenues continued to rise and were up to $569.2m from $361.3m a year earlier. In the third quarter, the company lost $132m, equivalent to 20 cents a share.
The total average Monthly Active Users (MAUs) were 320 million for the third quarter, up 11% year-over-year, and compared to 316 million in the previous quarter.
Earlier this month Twitter unveiled Moments, a selection of Tweets curated around live events, in an attempt to simplify its service. “Moments helps you find the best of Twitter as easily as tapping an icon – regardless of who you follow,” said Madhu Muthukumar, Twitter’s product manager for Moments.
The new service was the latest in a series of attempts to broaden the service’s appeal, none of which appear to have borne fruit so far.
This article was written by Jana Kasperkevic in New York, for theguardian.com on Tuesday 27th October 2015 21.33 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010