Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) shares tanked after the company reported disappointing user growth during the fourth quarter, though the company exceeded Wall Street earnings expectations. Cody Willard of MarketWatch says that the microblogging company is doomed, that sooner or later it’s designed to become next BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB). Willard says comparing Twitter to Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is like comparing BlackBerry’s platform with iOS or Android.
Is Twitter able to keep its users engaged?
Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) CEO Dick Costolo has officially admitted that a large section of the population finds it difficult to understand the microblogging site. Celebrities use it to connect with their fans. But the common man still doesn’t know what to do with his 140 characters. The San Francisco-based company has promised to introduce new features. Last week, Twitter tried to introduce new elements to its user interface to align its desktop UI with that of mobile. But the company revealed little about the changes, leaving users pondering what the hell was going on. Many were disappointed.
Twitter must innovate if it wants to survive
Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR)’s lack of innovation would eventually result into a loss of its core user base as platforms like Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Scutify innovate to attract new users. Lack of innovation and failure to adopt touchscreen was the key reason rivals overtook BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB). Shares of the Canadian company have fallen more than 84% over the past three years. And Twitter is showing signs of a similar trend. Though its stock is still trading far above the IPO price of $26, its user growth has slowed drastically. During the fourth quarter, its user base grew at just 4% QoQ to 241 million monthly active users.
Meanwhile, its key rival Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has launched many Twitter-like features such as Trending Topics, Hashtags, and Embedded Posts. Recently, the Menlo Park-based company unveiled its Paper app on its 10th birthday. The app allows users to explore and share news stories. But Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) is still finding ways to monetizing its user base, let alone attracting more users and keeping the existing ones engaged.
Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) shares were up 1.49% to $53.71 at 1:12 PM EST.