Twitter released its first ever earnings report yesterday and while the figures beat most analyst expectations, the stock dropped quickly in after-hours trade. Why? A number of reasons, but one of the main problems is that Twitter simply isn’t growing fast enough, certainly when it comes to active users.
Yesterday’s release noted that Twitter now has 241 million monthly active users (MAU), up from 232 million in Q3 2013. That’s quarterly growth of just 3.88 percent. In other words: rubbish.
Here’s a chart which looks at Twitter’s active user tally from Q3 2012 to Q4 2013.
It’s pretty steady although has noticeably slowed in the past few quarters. How much? Take a look at this second chart below.
As I noted back in October, after three quarters of 10+ percentage user growth between Q3 2012 and Q1 2013, Twitter’s user acquisition really started to decelerate in Q2 2013 and the Q4 2013 number is almost certainly the lowest quarterly growth rate they’ve ever recorded. And when you consider these are users accumulated during the IPO and all the hoopla surrounding that, it’s a terrible, terrible figure. What would the figure have been without the IPO? One percent? Negative?
Bottom line: if the Q1 and Q2 2014 numbers aren’t amazing Twitter could be in trouble as a business and viable investment – certainly for bulls – going forward.
(Twitter image: petesimon via Flickr.)