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TWITTER’S FOURTH QUARTER: Twitter posted strong financials for the fourth quarter of 2013, but analysts are concerned about slow user growth and declining engagement on the social network.
Ad revenue in the fourth quarter reached $US220 million, up 44% from the previous quarter.
Twitter averaged 241 million monthly active users in the fourth quarter, which is an increase of just 4% from the previous quarter and 30% over the fourth quarter of 2012.
The total number of times users viewed their timeline (Twitter’s news feed and core product) declined from the previous quarter for the first time ever. We predicted this trend in a chart we published last month. (Twitter)
BUT, BRANDS ARE EMBRACING TWITTER FOR WHAT IT IS: Twitter’s strong ad revenue growth indicates that advertisers are seeing a return on their investment with Twitter. The company is emphasising its strength as a real-time communication medium, and that type of a platform lures TV advertisers and retailers trying to attract the attention of consumers in the context of a moment or event. In fact, Twitter’s CFO said that a “record number of retailers flocked to Twitter in the fourth quarter to reach consumers.”
Furthermore, we know that customers interact with brands more on Twitter than they do on Facebook.
So, while Facebook might be the best platform for advertisers to reach the greatest number of consumers, Twitter can be extremely effective for certain brands to target consumers on mobile devices, and in real-time. (BI Intelligence)
YELP’S FOURTH QUARTER: Yelp posted a strong fourth quarter performance all around. The service now has 120 million monthly active users, which is an increase of 39% from this time last year. We consider that to be healthy growth for a relatively niche service.
The number of local business reviews on the site has increased 47% year over year, from 36 million to 53 million. User reviews of local businesses is the core value of Yelp’s location-based data, and so this growth is promising. (Yelp)
GOOGLE CONFIRMS NEW YOUTUBE BOSS: Google has confirmed that Susan Wojcicki is Google’s new Senior Vice President in charge of YouTube, making her the chief overseer of the video service. Wojcicki is a veteran ad executive at Google, which signals the growing importance of YouTube to Google’s overall ad business. (Re/code)
TWITTER OFFERING DATA TO RESEARCHERS: Data scientists from research and academic institutions can now apply to gain access to some of Twitter’s user data for research purposes. Large tech companies such as Facebook and Google have been hiring artificial intelligence experts away from the world of academia, but we haven’t heard much about how Twitter is using its big data. This program, called Twitter Data Grants, could compel researchers to work more closely and frequently with Twitter’s data. (Twitter)
FACEBOOK’S FOUNDING TEAM REFLECTS: In honour of Facebook’s 10-year anniversary, the founding team of employees reflect on the company’s early days. Dustin Moskovitz, who helped launch the social network, knew they were breaking ground on a new era in communication: “Once we got going with the Facebook idea and it got popular at Harvard, we had a pretty good inkling that social networks were going to be pretty big … We were not totally confident that ours would be the one to be pretty big, but we were confident that one would.” (Mashable)
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