Twitter has been turning people away for years. The message to potential users was clear: Sign up for an account, or move on.
Amid increasing pressure to grow its audience, however, the social network is opening its doors to unregistered visitors. Now, people without Twitter accounts -- and users who are not presently signed in -- can follow a variety of content streams in real-time.
“It’s real-time and straight from the source, just like the Twitter experience for those who log in,” Paul Lambert, a product manager at Twitter, notes in a new blog post.
Similarly, Twitter began showing Promoted Tweets to users without accounts, late last year.
No niche segment, Twitter counts about 500 million consumers that visit its property each month without logging in.
Twitter is also expanding its refreshed Twitter.com homepage on the Web, which is presently available in the U.S. and Japan. Newly included countries include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, France, Germany, Kenya, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Spain, South Africa, Taiwan and the UK.
Along with slumping user engagement, Twitter is failing to meet analysts’ revenue expectations.
Late last year, the company said it expected fourth-quarter revenue to reach between $695 million and $710 million -- considerably lower than analysts’ estimates of nearly $740 million.
While maintaining its buy rating on Twitter, Pivotal Research analyst Brian Wieser just reduced the company’s price target from $43 to $34. Wieser cited “slightly diminished revenue expectations over a multi-year time horizon, and more because of higher capital costs we think are appropriate given reduced confidence investors will have in the stock and the company.”