Twitter Eyes 500 Million Unregistered Users to Keep Up With Facebook

It's no secret that Twitter is experiencing growing pains. Last quarter, the messaging service added only 4 million new users, giving it 288 million monthly active users—versus Facebook's 1.4 billion and Instagram's 300 million-plus. Twitter CEO Dick Costolo argues that Twitter is actually much larger than the figures suggest, with an additional half-billion nonregistered consumers using the service every month. Costolo's mandate is to get those users to sign up or else serve them targeted ads. Twitter is now moving away from its roots as a text-based, nonstop stream of messages to a more refined, curated service driven by an algorithm, like Facebook. Here's a rundown of Twitter features aimed at getting nonregistered users on board.

1

INSTANT TIMELINES

Newbies get a rich timeline when they sign up instead of figuring out who to follow on their own.

2

RESURRECTION TIMELINES

Twitter is experimenting with this concept of welcoming back long-dormant users with a curated timeline, versus just the latest messages from those they follow.

3

LOGGED-OUT HOMEPAGES

When passersby land on Twitter, they will see a page of the most popular tweets and ads from brands.

4

NATIVE VIDEO

Twitter hopes video will draw Web celebrities like YouTube does. It recently acquired social talent agency Niche.

5

GOOGLE SEARCH

A pact with Google will have more tweets show up in search results, expected to drive more nonregistered users to the new and improved logged-out Twitter homepage.

6

GROUP DIRECT MESSAGING

Twitter is making it easier for top users and brands to go from mass messages to direct conversations. Imagine celebrities hosting more intimate discussions with their fans.