Twitter Inc (TWTR) Is Better Off Than It Looks On The Surface

Twitter Inc (TWTR) Is Better Off Than It Looks On The Surface

Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) stock has tumbled more than 47% this year so far, wiping away over $17 billion from the company’s market value. Though the microblogging company’s revenues continue to show strong growth, slowing user growth has become one of the biggest issues for the company. That said, Twitter is trying to make its platform more appealing to new users. In the past few months, the company has redesigned its user profile page and introduced new features.

Twitter’s revenues still growing at a faster rate

Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) is also planning to get into the music streaming business. Reports surfaced earlier this week that Twitter is in talks to buy Berlin-based SoundCloud, which lets users upload audio files and share them on the Web. SoundCloud has an attractive growth profile. John McDuling of Quartz says that the microblogging company is facing a perception problem rather than a growth problem.

Compared to other social networking companies, Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) has registered a relatively fast growth rate. Even in terms of user growth rate, it trumps Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB). However, Facebook is about five times bigger than Twitter, so its lower growth rate is justified. LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD) doesn’t disclose the number of monthly active users.

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Twitter is more like YouTube

Many research firm including Morgan Stanley and SunTrust have upgraded Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) in the past few weeks. They believe that the service will go mainstream, just like Facebook Inc. But Twitter CEO Dick Costolo believes that the service is already mainstream. He argues that Twitter’s awareness is very high among nonusers. Sports and news broadcasts frequently show tweets, and they are embedded in numerous news articles.

Such non-users may not be on Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), but they are familiar with the service and frequently come across tweets. The microblogging company plans to monetize this “indirect audience” with its mobile advertising platform MoPub, which the company acquired for $350 million last year. The company will insert native ads in embedded tweets.

The business model will be similar to that of YouTube, whose video content is spread all over the Internet and attracts billions of page views. Similarly, tweets receives millions (if not billions) of views beyond Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR)’s registered user base. Like YouTube, the company can monetize those views by inserting ads in tweets embedded on other sites.

Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) shares inched up 0.13% to $31.81 in pre-market trading Wednesday.

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