Layoffs. Slowing revenue growth. No profit.
These are just some of Twitter’s troubles, as the communications service struggles to find its place among more popular rivals such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. Rumors that it might be for sale – even though no serious buyers have come forward publicly – haven’t helped.
Last week, Twitter reported yet another quarterly loss and its slowest revenue growth since its initial public offering in 2013. Sure, its stock went up, but that was likely because Twitter decided to cut 350 jobs, or 9 percent of its workforce, and because things were not as terrible as some investors feared. As Susquehanna analyst Shyam Patil put it, Twitter cleared an “extremely low bar.” Another low bar? The company set out a simple goal for 2017: profitability. It would be Twitter’s first in its 10-year history. To this end, Twitter said it will focus on its core business and will shut down Vine, its quirky, beloved, but money-losing video app. Twitter will need more than belt-tightening. It wants to be the to-go place for live events and happenings, but its lackluster user base shows that it’s got a ways to go. The service, says Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter, “is still too complicated for the average Internet user, despite multiple changes.” Make Twitter easy to use? Another low bar to clear, perhaps.