Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) shares were down on Tuesday following a report from Cowen and Co stating that the company’s number of former users almost equals to the number of its active users. The research firm’s conclusion was based on a survey of 2,000 U.S. adult Internet users.
Concerns going forward
In the survey, the research firm found that 21.8% of those surveyed were active users of the micro-blogging site, while 19.3% of the respondents were former users. The remaining 59% of the respondents have never used the platform. On the basis of the survey, analysts believe that in the next 12-months, Twitter will add around 2 million adult users, which is half the 4 million users it estimated previously.
“The growth trajectory suggested from the survey is concerning and implies that Twitter may be more of a niche service relatively,” Cowen analyst John Blackledge said. He noted that new users for Twitter exclude business accounts or users ages 17 and younger. That said, slowing user growth and declining engagement metrics may prove major concerns for Twitter, noted Blackledge.
Facebook way ahead of Twitter
Blackledge expects the global internet penetration for Twitter to grow to 12% by 2019 from 8% currently. This is way below Facebook’s current global Internet penetration of 41%.
For Twitter, its monthly active users spend 17 minutes a day on the platform, while heavy users spend around 35 minutes. On Facebook, a user normally spend 42 minutes a day while the same metric for Yahoo is 34 minutes a day. The number of minutes spent per day on Twitter is similar to that of Pinterest and Facebook’s Instagram at 21 minutes a day or Snapchat at 17 minutes a day.
In the survey, the respondents were also asked the reasons they use Twitter. Around 63% of the respondents answered that they use the platform for personal interest, while 60% said they use it for following people and 50% use it for getting news updates.
Cowen and Co have assigned a Market Perform rating to Twitter with a price target of $42. On Tuesday, in after-hours trading, Twitter shares were down 0.23% to $39.50. Presently, fourteen analysts rate the stock as a Buy while seventeen consider it a Hold and four have a Sell rating.