Twitter shares declined to a new all-time low of $19.26 on Monday, and the drop continued Tuesday as well. The stock has already declined by more than 15% this year, and since the official naming of co-founder Jack Dorsey as the company’s CEO in October, it has plunged by around 30%.
Efforts not paying off
Dorsey, who has been very busy since his appointment as CEO, is looking for new ways to attract new users to the platform. Twitter’s user growth has almost plateaued, and this is a major cause of worry for both the company and investors. Despite several new moves under Dorsey’s leadership in the past few months, investors remain skeptical.
Shortly after Dorsey took over, Twitter launched Moments, which shows a curated mix of tweets. It also launched Vine, which is about big news events. Another major move was ditching favorites and stars for likes and hearts, and this attracted criticism from some users.
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Twitter is also experimenting with new ways to show tweets in users’ timelines. The micro-blogging firm is also testing a format that places the most relevant tweets on top, and this replaces the earlier practice of listing tweets in reverse chronological order. The company has maintained its tweet length at 140 characters since the beginning, but now it is rumored to be considering extending the limit to as many as 10,000 characters.
Last year, Twitter bought Periscope, a live video streaming app, and on Tuesday said it will show autoplay videos directly in the feeds. This will be good for users as now they won’t be forced to click on a link that will take them out of the Twitter app.
Twitter negativity might be overblown
Despite the efforts, investors are not convinced that these changes will help add users. Twitter is expected to end the fourth quarter with 325 million monthly active users – a growth rate of just 1.6% from the third quarter, according to FactSet. Much larger rival Facebook’s monthly user count is expected to climb 2.4% in the fourth quarter to 1.58 billion.
Nevertheless, the negativity seems a bit overdone in some respects. Twitter is expected to report revenue growth of 50% in the fourth quarter and more than 40% in 2016, which is really impressive.
On Tuesday, Twitter shares closed down 0.13% at $19.62. Year to date, the stock is down by over 15%, while in the last month, it is down by over 20%.