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 …

Another SEO tool drops the word “SEO”

This guest post is by Majestic’s Marketing Director, Dixon Jones, who explains the reasons for their recent name change.
Majestic, the link intelligence database that many SEOs have come to use on a daily basis, has dropped the “SEO” from it’s brand and from its domain name, to become Since most people won’t have used Google’s site migration tool before, here’s what it looks like once you press the “go” button:

In actual fact – there’s a minor bug in the tool. The address change is to the https version of (which GWT makes us register as a separate site) but that message incorrectly omits that. Fortunately, elsewhere in GWT its clear the omission is on Google’s side, not a typo from the SEO. It is most likely that the migration tool was developed before the need for Google to have separate verification codes for http and https versions of the site.
The hidden costs of a name change
There were a few “nay sayers” on Twitter upset that Majestic might be deserting it…

6 types of negative SEO to watch out for

The threat of negative SEO is remote but daunting. How easy is it to for a competitor to ruin your rankings, and how do you protect your site? But before we start, let’s make sure we’re clear on what negative SEO is, and what it definitely isn’t.Negative SEO is a set of activities aimed at lowering a competitor’s rankings in search results. These activities are more often off-page (e.g., building unnatural links to the site or scraping and reposting its content); but in some cases, they may also involve hacking the site and modifying its content.Negative SEO isn’t the most likely explanation for a sudden ranking drop. Before you decide someone may be deliberately hurting your rankings, factor out the more common reasons for ranking drops. You’ll find a comprehensive list here.Negative off-page SEOThis kind of negative SEO targets the site without internally interfering with it. Here are the most common shapes negative off-page SEO can take.Link farmsOne or two spammy links likely won’…