The internet is abuzz with the sad reality of Twitter’s stock price. The company had its own bad news blasted across the Twitterverse in 140 tragic characters ahead of its release to investors.
A company that tracks stock prices, Selerity, hopped on the downtrending first quarter numbers and published them via Twitter ahead of the company proper.
According to Wired: “In the first quarter, Twitter’s revenue rose 74 percent to $436 million, but missed analysts’ expectations for $456.5 million. The company averaged 241.6 mobile monthly active users—a key metric—missing an expected 243 million.”
“Revenue growth fell slightly short of our expectations due to lower-than-expected contribution from some of our newer direct response products,” Dick Costolo, Twitter’s CEO, said in the company’s news release.
No shit, Dick.
And though it’s only a small downturn, just slightly missing expectations, Twitter has asked investors to adjust their expectations downward for the rest of the year as well. The problem? How their direct advertising is quantified — they switched their measure from whether an ad was clicked on, to whether someone actually downloaded an app or utilized the service.
As the NY Times reports: “‘Do people want to leave what they are doing on Twitter and do something else like buy something?’ said Debra Aho Williamson, an analyst at the research firm eMarketer. ‘Direct-response advertisers haven’t figured out the best way to use Twitter, and Twitter hasn’t figured out the best way to market to them.’”
And it’s not like Twitter can go back to their old model now to artificially inflate their stock. So what do they have left? Figure out how to make users care more about what they are promoting or watch the stock continue its downward trend.
Sigh. Facebook will probably scoop it up for cheap down the road and stuff it into your timeline, so it won’t actually die. Is that good news? We couldn’t call it.