Has Twitter Cracked The Code For New Users?

Stock up more than 10% after higher than expected revenue and earnings, and better daily usage numbers

One of the well-established themes of Twitter watching is that the company has a problem attracting new users and then getting them to use the service once signed up.

Twitter reported that monthly active users surged to 328 million, seven million more than the 321 million expected, and that daily usage has grown for four consecutive quarters, for 14 percent year-over-year.

CEO Jack Dorsey says the company has made a lot of changes in the user experience of the product, such as how replies and retweets work, how @mentions work, and other significant changes to the timeline, such as using machine learning to improve recommended tweets.

Maybe the world is changing in ways that suit Twitter, rather than the other way around. As uncertainty increases, and ambiguity is compounded by profound shifts in the established world order, perhaps a loose, fluid, and hard-to-get-a-handle-on social tool like Twitter paradoxically makes more sense.

Maybe the world is growing more familiar with Twitter as a distinct model of social media, one that is oriented more obviously toward the world of media, entertainment, politics, and policy discourse, unlike its competitors Facebook, Whatsapp, Snapchat, and Youtube.

Maybe the world is changing in ways that suit Twitter, rather than the other way around. As uncertainty increases, and ambiguity is compounded by profound shifts in the established world order, perhaps a loose, fluid, and hard-to-get-a-handle-on social tool like Twitter paradoxically makes more sense.

And Donald Trump’s obsession with tweeting his opinions and perceptions isn’t hurting either. CFO Anthony Noto says there is some correlation of Twitter growth with Trump’s use, but he seems to think dropping ineffective ad formats is more important.

Investors responded to the news by driving up the stock by more than 10%, as the company reporting financial results of 11 cents a share versus projected 1 cent a share, and revenue of $548 million versus expected $511.9 million.

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