Twitter’s not growing anymore, and investors are freaking out – CNET

Flatline.

That’s the best way to describe Twitter’s current status when it comes to adding new users. The social network reported Thursday during its second-quarter earnings report (PDF) that it still has 328 million users — the same figure it had in the last quarter.

Back then, three months ago, that was 7 million more users than analysts had predicted, with Twitter executives partially attributing the spike to President Donald Trump’s at-times controversial presence on the platform.

Twitter’s total number of monthly active users remains stagnant at 328 million.

James Martin/CNET

This time around, analysts expected Twitter to get at least 4 million more new users, despite it severely trailing rival Facebook, which has more than 2 billion users

But there wasn’t another “Trump bump” for Twitter, and the company’s stock plunged as much as 13 percent, to about $16 a share, after recently hovering close to $26 a share, the same price as its initial public offering in 2013.

It’s not as if Twitter hasn’t tried. The company has been investing big in livestreaming, and it attempted a redesign in June to make the platform faster and easier to use. The effort was met by a mixed reaction, with some people even complaining that a user’s profile picture now sits in a circle instead of a square.

The company has also claimed it’s finally made “significant” progress toward curbing abusive behavior, taking daily action on 10 times as many abusive accounts compared with last year. Many people, though, say it’s too little too late, after years of unchecked hate mobs attacking celebrities, politicians and anyone else unfortunate enough to become a target.

Twitter’s efforts obviously aren’t enough to attract new users, said Gartner analyst Brian Blau, who added that Twitter does continue to have a loyal audience, which has been key to its survival.

“The prevailing thought here is that people are just interested in other social media properties,” Blau said. “While Twitter has a solid user interface and still has some impact, its competitors aren’t sitting still; they’re also making changes.”

During Thursday’s earnings call with investors, Twitter executives pretty much avoided discussing in detail the stagnation of the site’s total of monthly active users. Instead, CEO Jack Dorsey and Chief Operating Officer Anthony Noto focused on Twitter’s daily active user totals, which rose by 12 percent compared with this time last year.

But even that figure is disappointing, considering the company posted 14 percent daily user growth three months ago. More importantly, Twitter still refuses to say how many daily active users it has, making those figures even murkier to interpret.

Meanwhile, revenue for the second quarter fell 5 percent from this time a year ago, to $574 million, which still beat Wall Street’s modest projections of $537 million. But investors clearly don’t care about that. They want to see more people using Twitter.

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