Skip to main content

How Twitter Plans To Fix Its User Growth Problem


Twitter’s first earnings report was a mixed bag today: strong on revenue, but weak on user numbers.

Twitter’s monthly active userbase (MAU) reached 241 million at the end of Q4, but that’s only an increase of nine million users during the quarter. It’s the smallest quarterly increase in MAUs over the past two calendar years. In the US, Twitter added only a million new users during Q4. And the market is punishing the company over the slow user growth, with the stock down about 18 percent in after-hours trading as I type.

CEO Dick Costolo knows the company has a user growth problem, and on today’s earnings call he promised that Twitter will be “doubling down in 2014″ to fix it. He was quite frank — more revealing than most CEOs are on earnings calls — about some of the company’s specific plans to grow its user base:

  • A simpler on-boarding process for new users, including native mobile sign-up.

  • More rich media experiences.

  • More conversation-based updates.

  • A new, topic-based discovery feature to complement the standard chronological timeline.

Costolo said no single change will boost user numbers, but he believes “a combination of changes over the year … will start to change the slope of the growth curve.”

He made an important admission when he promised that Twitter is also planning “other methods to re-engage inactive users.” The company knows that turning around its slowdown in active users isn’t just about getting new people signed up, but also about bringing back the millions that tried Twitter, didn’t like it or “get it,” and left.

Timeline Views Also Down

Another alarming stat is the Q4 decline of “timeline views” — one of Twitter’s primary data points for showing value to advertisers. That number dropped from 159 billion in Q3 to 148 billion in Q4 of last year — the only quarterly decline in the past two calendar years.


But Costolo put a positive spin on that chart, saying that some of Twitter’s recent feature additions and user interface changes led to the decline and simultaneously improved overall timeline interactions.

“Interactions per timeline view are up,” he said. “Users are interacting with their timeline more than ever before, which is good for users, advertisers and the company.”

As an example, Costolo cited the new threaded conversation view that shows a tweet and its replies in order. He said that change helped new users grasp the conversational nature of Twitter but cut down on timeline views because there was no need to click back and forth to see each tweet in the conversation. As another example of improved interactions, Costolo said that favorites and retweets are up about 35 percent since Twitter began showing photos and video in the timeline without requiring an extra click.

As for 2014, Costolo says Twitter believes that the planned changes “will lead to higher user growth and engagement over time.

“We simply need to make Twitter a better Twitter.”

via Marketing Land


Popular posts from this blog

How to Get SMS Alerts for Gmail via Twitter

How do you get SMS notifications on your mobile phone for important emails in your Gmail? Google doesn’t support text notifications for their email service but Twitter does. If we can figure out a way to connect our Twitter and Gmail accounts, the Gmail notifications can arrive as text on our mobile via Twitter. Let me explain:Twitter allows you to follow any @user via a simple SMS. They provide short codes for all countries (see list) and if you text FOLLOW to this shortcode following by the  username, any tweets from that user will arrive in your phone as text notifications. For instance, if you are in the US, you can tweet FOLLOW labnol to 40404 to get my tweets as text messages. Similarly, users in India can text FOLLOW labnol to 9248948837 to get the tweets via SMS.The short code service of Twitter can act as a Gmail SMS notifier. You create a new Twitter account, set the privacy to private and this account will send a tweet when you get a new email in Gmail. Follow this account …

Instagram Story links get 15-25% swipe-through rates for brands, publishers

Instagram may arrived late as a traffic source for brands and publishers, but it’s already showing early signs of success, driving new visitors to their sites and even outperforming its parent company, Facebook.For years brands, publishers and other have tried to push people from the Facebook-owned photo-and-video-sharing app to their sites. Outside of ads and excepting a recent test with some retailers, Instagram didn’t offer much help to companies looking to use it to drive traffic. So they had to find workarounds. They put links in their Instagram bios. They scrawled short-code URLs onto their pictures. And they typed out links in their captions.Then last month Instagram finally introduced an official alternative to these hacky workarounds: the ability for verified profiles to insert links in their Instagram Stories.Almost a month after the launch, 15% to 25% of the people who see a link in an Instagram Story are swiping on it, according to a handful of brands and publishers that h…

Five great tools to improve PPC ads

Every digital marketer wants to reach the top position on the search engine results. However, if you’ve recently launched a new website or your niche is saturated, starting with paid search ads sounds like a good idea.Strategically created PPC campaigns can drive leads, sales or sign-ups to your websites. You know what? In fact, businesses earn an average of $8 for every dollar they spend on Google Ads.Optimizing PPC campaigns is not easy, but it’s very powerful if you do it properly. Just like SEO, it is essential to conduct extensive keyword research, optimize ad copy, and design high-converting landing pages.Fortunately, there are a lot of effective PPC tools that will help you analyze your competitors’ PPC strategies, figure out tricks in their campaigns, and improve your PPC campaigns.If you are ready to take an evolutionary leap in your PPC advertising, take a look at my list of five amazing tools to save you time, give you crucial insights, and raise money for your business.Fiv…