Commentary

Twitter Considers New Revenue Streams

The following is updated from a post previously published in an earlier edition of Moblog:

In another bid to boost its bottom line, Twitter is pondering a premium Tweetdeck-like service for professionals willing to pay for social insights.  

“We’re exploring several ways to make Tweetdeck even more valuable for professionals,” a company spokeswoman said in a statement.  If and when Twitter launches such a service, it will likely feature social-activity tracking and planning tools similar to those offered by SocialFlow and HootSuite.

In the past Twitter has played with the concept of a more structured measurement service. Last summer, it debuted a Dashboard app for businesses, which could track discussion about products and key words, as well as hashtags that failed to show up as “@” mentions.

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Without much explanation, however, Twitter said it was shuttering Dashboard at the beginning of 2017.

As its business outlook dims, Twitter is obviously in search of new revenue streams. For the first time, for instance, the social giant announced plans to host its own presentation during the Digital Content Newfronts. Along with other platforms and publishers, Twitter vied for a piece of brands’ annual ad budgets on May 1.

The move is part of a broader effort to invest in original video content and bring advertisers into the fold, Matthew Derella, Twitter's vice president of global revenue and operations, said in March.

In the fourth quarter, Twitter saw revenue increase by just 1% to $717 million, year-over-year, while monthly active users were up just 4% to 319 million.

Worse yet, ad revenue totaled $638 million, down slightly year-over-year.

Analysts didn’t hide their disappointment with the once high-flying company.

“Current quarter results were weaker-than-expected, with a big negative from what guidance implies about the coming quarter and the year,” Pivotal Research Group analyst Brian Wieser said in an investor note. “We are altering our long-term forecasts on the company and reducing our price target from $17 to $15 on a [year ending 2017] basis,” he said.

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