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TWITTER WORRIES: Twitter’s first quarterly update since going public last year fell flat Wednesday as investors worried that a continued slowdown in user growth signaled the company was losing traction. Advertisers are liking Twitter — especially as the platform develops ways to deliver an increasingly targeted experience for partners — but whether the firm will be able to monetize this remains to be seen.
The company’s fourth-quarter revenues shot up 116 percent to $243 million from a year earlier, but net losses widened to $511 million from $8.7 million.
The microblogging site’s average monthly active users totaled 241 million in the fourth quarter — marking growth of 3.9 percent from the third quarter. That’s down from sequential growth of 10.3 percent in the first quarter, 6.9 percent in the second and 6.4 percent in the third.
The moderating growth curve for active users helped send Twitter’s stock down 18.2 percent to $53.96 in after-hours trading — although the company’s shares are still well above their initial offering price of $26 from November.
Twitter has been mum about the amount of promoted tweets it will show to a user, but the company said it’s balanced. Twitter finance chief Mike Gupta said on a conference call with analysts that the platform shows significantly less promoted content than the rest of the industry.