CHARTS OF THE WEEK: Here's How Twitter Employees Use Twitter

SAI chart Twitter employee tweets

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  • Here’s How Twitter Employees Use Twitter
  • One Reason Investors Are Fleeing Research In Motion
  • Google’s Stagnant Search Share
  • What Happens When An Unprofitable Company IPOs?
  • Google’s Cash Cost Per Employee Hits An All Time High

Here's How Twitter Employees Use Twitter

Twitter employees, naturally, use Twitter differently than the rest of us. But in what ways? Specifically, which apps do they use to tweet?

To find out, we used Twitter's API to analyse approximately 2,700 tweets from the Twitter staff list that were sent last week, including tweets from during the week and weekend, day and night. We then mined each tweet for its 'source,' so we can see which apps Twitter employee users tweet from, and compared this to the general public.

The tweets we analysed came from 54 different sources, ranging from Twitter's official clients to third-party apps like TweetDeck and websites like Yelp, Instapaper, and Quora.

The most popular client was Twitter's website, which accounted for 32% of tweets. That's pretty similar to the general public, which uses Twitter.com to send 35% of tweets, according to Sysomos.

But that's where Twitter employees and the general public stop tweeting like each other.

Among Twitter employees, Twitter for iPhone generated 22% of the tweets, about twice as much as the general public. Employees used Twitter for Mac to send 18% of their tweets, versus 0.4% for the general public. (Probably especially during the week, when Twitter employees are sitting around the office, tweeting at each other.) And while the general public uses TweetDeck to send 13% of its tweets, Twitter employees used it for just 2% of their tweets.

Overall, Twitter employees use Twitter's official apps to send more than 86% of their tweets, while the general public uses them to send about 58% of their tweets. Given their employment at the company, and their role in creating and testing the apps, that discrepancy is not surprising.

One Reason Investors Are Fleeing Research In Motion

In yesterday's New York Times, Research In Motion co-CEO Mike Lazaridis complained that his company didn't get enough respect. He moaned that despite routinely delivering solid results, 'people don't appreciate our profits' or 'our growth.'

While RIM's growth is indeed solid, it's not nearly as strong as Apple's. iPhone sales growth, measured on a year-over-year basis, has been stronger than RIM's for nine out of the last 10 quarters.

Couple that with the fact that Android is steamrolling RIM, and that RIM is embarking on a massive, risky, and necessary technology transition, and it's obvious why this 'negative sentiment' surrounds RIM.

Google's Stagnant Search Share

New data from comScore shows Google's share of the U.S. search market has remained flat, stuck in the 66% per cent range.

This is a problem for Google because it still gets the vast majority of its profits from search. Yes, the overall search market continues to grow, as does revenue per search. But, it's clear Google is not going to completely dominate the search market.

If Google's stock is ever going to start soaring again, Google will have to prove it has a second real profitable business beyond search.

Meanwhile, Microsoft's Bing search engine has managed to pick up a few percentage points of search share in the last year. But it's paying an unbelievable amount for those few points of share, and it's taking away share from its partner, Yahoo.

What Happens When An Unprofitable Company IPOs?

Zipcar IPO'd today with its shares popping 56%, giving it a valuation of around $1 billion. It's a nice start on the public markets for a company that didn't turn a profit for the last two years.

But, do profits really even matter for an IPO? The chart below, which comes from IPO Dashboard, suggests that in the short run profits don't matter, at least not for technology companies. (Arguably, this doesn't apply to Zipcar, which is hardly a tech company.)

As you can see, unprofitable technology companies have traditionally shot out of the gates hotter than profitable companies. Over time they fade and the profitable companies end up a stronger stock.

IPO Dashboard analysed 100 public software companies, and adjusted the data for the period in which the company IPO'd: 'All of the returns in the study have been NASDAQ adjusted. This means that the returns shown above are those in excess of the return on the Nasdaq index. This is a way to control for general technology market conditions.'

The chart is from a 2009 post, but we saw First Round Capital's Charlie O'Donnell tweet it today, and in light of Zipcar's IPO thought it was interesting enough to run.

Google's Cash Cost Per Employee Hits An All Time High

Investors punished Google for last night's earnings performance by knocking the stock down 8% today.

While the earnings results were generally in line, two things spooked Wall Street.

First, Larry Page wasn't particularly warm and fuzzy on the earnings call, and Wall Street analysts love to be massaged.

Second, Wall Street was put off by Google's rising operating expenses brought on by its hiring binge.

In the chart below from Citi analyst Mark Mahaney, who downgraded the stock, you can see that Google's cash cost per employee is the highest it has ever been.

Mahaney writes that, 'Given that the company will pay employees more this year, incur greater compensation-related expenses (401K matching, employee taxes, etc.), and is planning to be aggressive in hiring new employees, we would expect Cash Cost Per Employee to continue to rise.'

Google is staffing up in growth markets like Chrome, YouTube, and 'social'. It's a smart long term strategy, but in the short term, which is how Wall Street thinks, it's bad news for earnings since those divisions aren't terribly profitable for Google right now.

CHARTS OF THE WEEK: Android Blows Past iPhone -- Even If You Include iPod Touch

Click to see this week's charts as a slideshow →

Or select individually:

  • Android Blows Past iPhone -- Even If You Include iPod Touch
  • Verizon iPhone Owners Don't Have As Many Dropped Calls As AT&T iPhone Owners
  • Surprise! John Chambers Has Been Worse For Shareholders Than Steve Ballmer
  • Here's Why YouTube Wants To Spend $100 Million On Original Video
  • AOL Has A 'Near Record' Amount Of Investors Betting Against It

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