by Katie Lobosco, via CNN |
Investors have been extremely worried about Twitter’s user numbers, and Thursday’s earnings did little to dispel those concerns.
During the most recent quarter, Twitter said it had 288 million average users a month, which is a net loss of four million users from the prior quarter.
Twitter still has fewer users than Instagram, which said it topped 300 million monthly users in December.
Improving user growth and engagement is key for the company going forward. Twitter is experimenting with “Instant Timeline,” which will put tweets in people’s feed based on their interests and connections.
“The whole goal of Instant Timeline is to make a healthy user from Day One,” CEO Dick Costolo said on a call with analysts Thursday.
But there was some good news that pushed shares up after the bell. Revenue and earnings beat expectations. Twitter took in $479 million during the quarter, a 97% increased compared to the year before.
Investors pushed the stock up about 10% as excitement builds about Twitter’s expansion of the video capabilities on its site, its partnerships with other tech companies and the new ability to have group conversations instead of just one-on-one messages.
“We have relationship that we’ve agreed to with Google,” CEO Costolo confirmed Thursday. He didn’t disclose details, but did say the idea is “they will drive traffic and distribute traffic to our logged out experience.”
The deal is expected to make tweets much easier to search. Twitter also inked relationships recently with Yahoo Japan and news sharing site Flipboard.
Twitter told investors it plans to capitalize on the Cricket World Cup later in February in the hopes of seeing the incredible surge in traffic on the site from the Winter Olympics and FIFA World Cup. Those two events contributed heavily to Twitter’s ad revenue last year.
Other than lackluster user growth, Twitter is also getting hurt by the strong U.S. dollar. The company cut its revenue forecast for the first quarter of 2015 by $6.5 million because of all the currency rate conversion problems.