Twitter posted revenues of $436m in the first quarter of 2015, up 74% year-on-year, but Wall Street was not impressed, with the company’s share price falling by 18% in the wake of its announcement.
It didn’t help that the announcement came earlier than expected after Twitter’s Q1 results leaked online before they were supposed to, but the stock decline was more about the company missing its previously-forecast revenues target and lowering its expectations for 2015, as well as continued concern about the rate at which Twitter is attracting new users.
What about the stats, then? Twitter posted another significant net loss in Q1: $162.4m, compared to $132.4m in the first quarter of 2014. In fact, Twitter’s cumulative net losses for the last 12 months total $607.9m, with no clear signs of a Facebook-style move into profit.
Meanwhile, Twitter averaged 302 million monthly active users in the first quarter of this year, up 18% year-on-year and up 4.9% quarter-on-quarter. While that took it over the 300m milestone, the rate of growth remains cause for concern among investors.
What’s up with missing its own estimates of $440m-$450m in revenues for Q1? “Revenue growth fell slightly short of our expectations due to lower-than-expected contribution from some of our newer direct response products,” said CEO Dick Costolo.
“It is still early days for these products, and we have a strong pipeline that we believe will drive increased value for direct response advertisers in the future.” That included the announcement that Twitter is buying marketing tech company TellApart to boost its direct advertising and e-commerce capabilities.
Two more data points from Twitter’s earnings call with analysts. First, Periscope, the new live-broadcasting video app. “In just the first 10 days alone, more than one million people signed into the app and even more have tuned in to live broadcast through the web,” said Costolo.
Second, the prospect of curating timelines for logged-in users – a controversial idea given the ongoing debate about organic reach on Facebook. “As we iterate on the logged out experience and curate topics, events, moments that unfold on the platform, you should absolutely expect us to deliver those experiences across the total audience and that includes logged in users and users in syndication,” said Costolo.