Twitter to Cut Jobs, Bet on Video for Growth

By Steve Safran 

twitterTwitter is looking to streaming video as an opportunity for growth as it seeks profitability, the company announced Thursday morning in its Q3 earnings report. Twitter announced it will cut 350 jobs – about nine percent of its overall workforce – as it seeks profitability.

Twitter posted a net loss of more than $100 million in the third quarter, even as its user base grew three percent over last year. In the company’s quarterly letter to shareholders, it outlined video as an important growth strategy:

We’ve signed more than a dozen live streaming video partnerships since June, many of which have already started streaming content on a daily or weekly basis… the average time spent watching (Thursday Night Football) among our lightest users exceeds the average time spent among medium and heavy users, suggesting that this new experience is presenting people who are less familiar with Twitter with a compelling new reason to use our service.

Twitter’s live streams of Bloomberg Politics’ presidential debates were also very successful. The second and third debates averaged a reach of 3.3 million unique viewers, an increase of more than 30% over the first presidential debate. In total, the debates generated an average of almost 3 billion Tweet impressions, with the second debate generating a record of 16 million debate-related Tweets sent, making it the most Tweeted debate ever.

Twitter says it has 317 million “MAUs” (Monthly Active Users), up from 314 million in Q2. The company reports it is seeing “very strong advertiser demand across both video and our live streaming ad formats,” and is looking to video to help increase revenue. It reports its strongest revenue stream comes from Promoted Tweets with video, as revenue from its traditional Promoted Tweets declines.