Twitter Still Struggling To Grow as Rivals Race Ahead

Twitter is in danger of becoming the next internet company forced into a desperation sale if it cannot find a way to start luring people and advertisers back to its sometimes-befuddling messaging service.

The 10-year-old company's second-quarter report, released Tuesday, provided another sobering snapshot of Twitter stuck on a treadmill, as other digital communications channels such as Facebook and Snapchat are racing ahead in the battle for people's attention and allegiance.

Twitter averaged 313 million users a month in the April-June period, a gain of just 3 million from the previous quarter. Even more telling, Twitter has added only 9 million monthly users since the San Francisco company brought back co-founder Jack Dorsey as CEO a year ago.

Dorsey has tried to shake things up by rolling out a "Moments" feature that bundles messages about current events, loosening the 140-character on tweets and showing tweets in the order most likely to appeal to each person's perceived interests, rather than a chronological fashion.

The ineffectiveness of those measures have spurred speculation that Twitter might be bought by a suitor that prizes its still-sizeable audience and the insights that its service provides into the hot topics that people are talking about around the world.

Industry analysts believe the prospect of a Twitter takeover is the main reason that the company's stock had climbed 34 percent from its all-time low of $13.73 leading into the second-quarter earnings report. The shares reversed course after the disappointing report came out, shedding $2.11, or 11 percent, to $16.34 in extended trading. Twitter's stock has lost more than half its value since Dorsey's return as CEO.

In a conference call Tuesday to discuss the quarterly results, Dorsey said he believes Twitter is building a "company and business of importance" when asked about whether selling might more sense than remaining independent.

"We're making the right...

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