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By Staff Reporter : PNG Today

Twitter is turning 10. Will it see 20?

"It is absolutely reasonable to ask that question," S&P Global Market Intelligence analyst Scott Kessler says.

Today Twitter (TWTR) trades at about $16 a share, a 75 per cent decline from its peak, reflecting a sharp loss of confidence on Wall Street.

Revenue is growing quickly, but not as quickly as it used to, and analysts expect that trend to continue. This week, research firm eMarketer slashed forecasts for the company, saying it now expects Twitter to generate $2.61 billion in global advertising revenue in 2016, down from the $2.95 billion it predicted in October of 2015, as Twitter struggles to complete with market leaders Google and Facebook.

Not to mention that Twitter spends more on stock-based compensation as a percentage of sales than many of its cohorts, according to Sanford Bernstein analysts, and it still doesn't make money.

The biggest knock by far: Twitter has more than 300 million users, among them pop stars, Hollywood glitterati and world leaders. But it's dwarfed by other services -- it's one-fifth the size of Facebook and smaller even than Facebook-owned photo-sharing service Instagram. Growth has stagnated for months and recently flatlined, alarming investors.

Twitter still has international brand recognition, if not broad popular appeal. It's on the tips of many tongues, especially during dramatic live events such as the World Cup or a wacky US presidential election. The problem: it has yet to find a way to be that engaging day to day.

Much of that stems from turmoil inside its own walls. In a tech world known for ups and downs among scrappy young companies, Twitter has never outgrown that turbulent phase. Soap-opera-worthy story lines of infighting and intrigue have played out for years, leading to headline-making ousters and defections.

Now Twitter is pinning its future on founder Jack Dorsey, who was fired as CEO in 2008. He has been in the top job since July 2015 to engineer a turnaround under the glare of the public-market spotlight (while simultaneously running the other company he founded and recently took public, Square). Twitter declined to make Dorsey available for an interview.

Stability seems to have returned with Dorsey, at least for now. He has rallied the troops (his address at an all-hands meeting following the exodus of top executives prompted employees to tweet #OneTeam and #LoveWhereYouWork). And he has met a major challenge that eluded his predecessors: Defining what Twitter actually is.

In February, Dorsey declared he had the answer: "Twitter is live: live commentary, live connections, live conversations". To that end, he has sharpened Twitter's focus on live streaming video, intensifying competition with its gargantuan rival Facebook.

Bold changes may be in store for Twitter with Dorsey in charge. His philosophy: nothing is sacred, not even core features. He even flirted for a time with extending Twitter's iconic 140-character limit, part of his push to reignite growth, engagement and, most of all, excitement about Twitter.

"We are building a business that ultimately I want to endure beyond my lifetime," Dorsey told CNBC this week.

That's a pretty big aspiration. Even 10 years is a long stretch in Internet time, Kessler says. Many companies that were powerful at the peak of the tech boom in 2000, such as Yahoo and eBay, are now struggling. Of course, Twitter has one thing going for it: $3.5 billion in cash. That means Twitter has 412 years to fix itself.

"It's an uphill battle for Twitter as it has always been," Kessler said.

"At last there seems like there is a semblance of stability there. We'll see if that leads to more and better product innovation and gains in users and engagement. That's really what people are looking to see."...read more technology news on >> PNG Technology news

   
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MCT

Posted by Staff Reporter : PNG Today on 12:55 AM. Filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Share this Article

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