The first-quarter results are out for Twitter, and they don’t look good.
The company reported stagnant revenue growth, as the site struggles to attract new users and tries to improve their complicated interface with new features.
Stock plunged 13.6% to $15.34 in late trade on Tuesday, after reporting their slower-than-expected revenue. The current-quarter revenue forecast was far below many analysts’ expectations.
Twitter’s user base did grow last quarter — from 310 million monthly active users by the time the quarter ended on March 31, from 305 million in the fourth quarter of 2015. However, analysts are still skeptical about the company’s future in general.
Arvind Bharua, an analyst with CT Capital, said, “It’s obvious Twitter is having trouble. It’s not growing anywhere close to where people expected a while back.”
Executives said that advertisers, particularly in Europe, held back on spending ahead of major events, like the Olympics and the European Champions League. They said that users were spending more time with videos, but that advertisers’ budgets had not shifted from things like promoted tweets.
Meanwhile, Twitter’s CFO, Anthony Noto may have indicated that the company may be about to roll out some new innovations and make some interesting new purchases — presumably taking radical actions to solve the company’s problems.
During Twitters’s Q1 conference call, Noto seemed particularly interested in the “ad-tech” companies, which run the nuts and bolts systems that run the internet’s automated-advertising system.
As Noto said on the call, “The fact that we have the amount of cash on the balance sheet, over $3.5 billion, leaves us with the strategic optionality to look for those assets that are game changing.”
In summary, Noto stated that the company’s goal was to be “a one-stop shop for advertising.” Advertising is, after all, one the biggest drivers of industry in the world, with total spending on advertising for 2015 at $180 billion in the United States alone.