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Twitter’s user growth slowed in its first quarter as a public company, sending its shares down more than 12 percent in after-hours trading.
The bad news: Twitter has added only about nine million more users since its most recent fall quarter, now standing at 241 million monthly active users.
That’s a continued slowing of the company’s user growth curve, a problem the company has faced for some time.
Here’s a benchmark for comparison: Facebook was at about 900 million users when it went public, and just crossed the 1.2 billion mark about a year and a half later.
On another sour note, Twitter’s engagement numbers — or “Timeline views” — reached 148 billion in the fourth quarter, an 11 billion view decrease from the previous quarter.
The news on user growth overshadowed what appeared to be a big beat on revenue and earnings expectations.
The company reported earnings per share of two cents on revenue of $243 million. That well surpasses Wall Street’s estimates of a loss of two cents per share on revenue of around $218 million.
And it’s worth noting that more than 75 percent of Twitter’s revenue comes from mobile devices. In other words, Twitter has mobile dollars licked — far from Facebook’s mobile headache when it first went public.
“Twitter finished a great year with our strongest financial quarter to date,” Twitter CEO Dick Costolo said in a prepared statement. “We are the only platform that is public, real-time, conversational and widely distributed and I’m excited by the number of initiatives we have underway to further build upon the Twitter experience.”
Shares of Twitter, which closed the day at $65.97 on the New York Stock Exchange, fell 13.14 percent to $57.30 in after-hours trading.
We’ll be on the conference call come 2 pm PT, to hear Costolo talk more about the numbers. For now, take a look at Twitter’s user growth problems in the chart below.