Twitter has had a major spam problem ever since it started to gain popularity. Without any tangible restrictions on account creation, spambots run rampant by automatically responding to key terms and following tens of thousands of users in order to boost their own follower counts. The Wall Street Journal spoke with Jim Vidmar, a Twitter bot “dealer” who buys fake Twitter accounts from suppliers and then sells them to users who wants to improve their standings on the popular social network. According to their findings, the problem is not going away any time soon. More →
Twitter stock opened trading at $45.10, instantly soaring 80% above its initial public offering price. This means that having a lot of users is much more important to investors than having any sort of plan to become profitable. We are back to 1999 and eyeballs are in vogue. This is manna for messaging apps like WhatsApp, LINE, KakaoTalk, WeChat, Kik, Viber, Tango, Nimbuzz and BBM. More →
As most active Twitter users undoubtedly noticed, Twitter on Tuesday added a new feature to its website and mobile apps that is definitely making waves. In a move that pushes the service one step closer to the likes of Facebook and Tumblr — and makes ads much more valuable as well — Twitter now displays photo and video previews right in users’ timelines. There have been plenty of complaints out of the gate, as there always are when new features roll out to a social network, though most Twitterers will undoubtedly get used to them over time. If you’d rather not even give Twitter’s new photo previews a chance though, here’s a simple guide on how to disable them in the company’s iPhone and Android apps. More →
Instagram tried to crush Vine when it added video-sharing to its popular mobile service, and initially it looked like the company might succeed. Vine is still going strong, however, and the firm’s iPhone app sat at No.17 on Apple’s top free apps chart in the U.S. at the time of this writing. While people continue to enjoy making brief 6-second video clips and sharing them on Twitter, a question remained: Why did Vine choose 6 seconds as the limit for its videos? In an interview with NPR, Vine co-founder Dom Hofmann provided an explanation. More →
Twitter announced on Thursday after the market closed that it is setting its IPO share price at $17 to $20 per share and is looking to sell 70 million shares. Twitter’s offering could raise up to $1.4 billion, although it will raise somewhere around $1.2 billion if it sells all its shares at the median price. Twitter’s opening ask is much more modest than that of fellow social networking dynamo Facebook, which famously issued public stock at $38 a piece and raised a whopping $16 billion last year.
In the wake of countless music streaming services popping up over the past several years, Twitter’s own offering never made much of an impact. AllThingsD reports that Twitter will likely be shuttering its own #Music app after downloads have nearly slowed to a halt since Twitter launched the service back in April. Initial numbers were reportedly promising, but Twitter could not maintain the momentum and now Twitter #Music cannot even be found in the App Store’s top 1,000 apps according to market data company Onavo Insights. More →
Could Twitter soon go head-to-head with WhatsApp, Kik and other big mobile messaging services? Unnamed sources tell AllThingsD that Twitter has been working on “plans to significantly update its direct-messaging product in the near future” and has even “kicked around the idea of launching a standalone direct-messaging application separate from the Twitter app.” Doing a standalone direct-messaging app would put Twitter in direct competition with the scores of messaging apps that have taken the mobile world by storm over the past couple of years. AllThingsD notes that Twitter is still not settled as to whether its messaging revamp will include a standalone app for direct messages, although the company is definitely feeling some competitive heat from its rivals in the mobile messaging world.
Twitter may have found a good way to shore up potential revenue streams ahead of its IPO. BGR sister publication Variety reports that Twitter has partnered with Comcast on a new initiative called “See It” that will let users “record and watch NBC Universal programming directly off the social media platform.” Here’s how it works: Twitter will add a “See It” button to Comcast customers’ Twitter feeds that will let them watch their favorite NBC Universal shows online through any device they’re using or to access their television’s set-top box to start recording the show. While the Comcast deal isn’t likely to be a huge money-maker for Twitter, the microblogging site could see a nice boost in revenues if it negotiates similar deals with other cable companies and content providers.
It is surprising that Twitter only grew its U.S. monthly active user base by 1 million between the March and June quarters — from 48 million to 49 million. One year earlier, Twitter’s MAU base in America grew from 34 million to 37 million. The growth is slowing at a fairly surprising rate. But what is even more shocking is that according to Onavo, the number of U.S. iPhone owners using Twitter has stalled completely between March and August, moving from 27.2% to 27% over a five-month period. Why does Twitter have a growth problem in its core market? One explanation is that American smartphone users are extremely sophisticated and alert to new trends. Twitter and Facebook broke out first in America, and it is in their home market where these giants are now witnessing the explosive growth of alternative services. More →
The tech industry is captivated by two upcoming IPO’s, which offer an interesting contrast. Twitter is a great example of what software companies used to look like: it is American, it generated $250 million in sales in the first half of 2013… and lost nearly $70 million. That’s what the California model of software IPO’s looks like. Modest sales and big losses. More →
In line with earlier reports, Twitter on Thursday made its IPO filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission public. Twitter filed an S-1 confidentially earlier this year, and it was able to do so because its annual revenue was less than $1 billion in 2012. The company’s S-1 is now public, shedding light on Twitter’s financials for the first time ahead of its upcoming initial public offering. The company will look to raise $1 billion with its IPO, and it will be underwritten by Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and several other banks. More →
Twitter filed with the SEC for an initial public offering last Thursday, and although speculation about Twitter’s future began immediately, the social networking site has yet to announce when it will actually go public. According to Reuters, that day might be less than two months away. One source told Reuters that Twitter could raise over $1 billion in its IPO, and that it will come before Thanksgiving. Despite the enormity of this deal, the amount of money that Twitter is speculated to raise for its IPO is less than 1% of Facebook’s record-breaking $105 billion IPO last year. It still remains to be seen whether or not Twitter will focus as aggressively on ads as Facebook has since it went public last year, but one thing is certain — your favorite Twitter apps are about to undergo some serious changes.
Going public is a big deal. In the wake of Twitter’s recent announcement that it will be filing for an IPO, former Google employee Hunter Walk has taken to LinkedIn to reflect on the experience of the search company going public back in August 2004. He arrived at the company less than a year before it filed its own S-1, and recounted some of the changes that came along with going public. More →