Twitter's user growth plateaus as number of tweeters fails to rise

The number of active Twitter users failed to rise in the last three months of 2015, the social network has reported, as it continues to struggle.

The micro-blogging site used its latest financial earnings report to announce that monthly active users remain at 320 million, with analysts having predicted the figure to rise to 323 million.

In comparison, rival social network Facebook has more than 1.5 billion users and recently reported record financial results of their own.

(Chris Ison/PA)

The site did however report revenue increases of more than $2 billion (£1.3 billion), up more than 50% on last year.

The news comes in the wake of chief executive Jack Dorsey being accused of misleading users after denying a new layout for the Twitter timeline was coming soon, only for the feature to begin appearing this week.

The lack of growth in user numbers has plunged the social network into crisis in recent months, with co-founder Dorsey returning to the company and around 8% of the company’s staff being cut.

But in the reporting of their latest financial results, the company remained defiant that it would continue to grow.

“We saw a decline in monthly active usage in Q4, but we’ve already seen January monthly actives bounce back to Q3 levels,” said Twitter’s report.

“We’re confident that, with disciplined execution, this growth trend will continue over time.”

(Silvia Izquierdo/AP/PA)

Analysts are concerned for the future of the site, however.

Walter Price from global investment from Allianz said: “I think Twitter is in a crisis and could be entering the internet graveyard that is populated by many other small internet properties that are used by people and have value to their users but are no longer growth companies.

“The management changes at Twitter and the revolving door at the top of the company is because they think they can grow but everything they try is not really working. In our view, the stock will continue to go down until they change their emphasis.”

Twitter added that it has “five priorities” for 2016, including to deal with the “confusing” aspects of the site, such as how users can reply to messages both publicly and more directly using the site’s existing rules. Improving live streaming video options, as well as making the site safer were also named as key areas of focus for the company in the coming year.


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