Twitter still struggling to grow as rivals race ahead

Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — Twitter is in danger of becoming the next internet company forced into a desperation sale if it cannot find a way to start luring people and advertisers back to its sometimes-befuddling messaging service.

The 10-year-old company’s second-quarter report, released Tuesday, provided another sobering snapshot of Twitter stuck on a treadmill, as other digital communications channels such as Facebook are racing ahead.

Twitter averaged 313 million users a month in the April-June period, a gain of just 3 million from the previous quarter. Even more telling, Twitter has only added 9 million monthly users since the San Francisco company brought back co-founder Jack Dorsey as CEO a year ago.

Dorsey has tried to shake things up by rolling out a “Moments” feature that bundles messages about current events, loosening the 140-character on tweets and showing tweets in the order most likely to appeal to each person’s perceived interests, rather than chronologically.

The ineffectiveness of those measures have spurred speculation that Twitter might be bought by a suitor that prizes its still-sizeable audience and the insights that its service provides into hot topics.

Industry analysts believe the prospect of a Twitter takeover is the main reason that the company’s stock had climbed 34 percent from its all-time low of $13.73 leading into the second-quarter earnings report. The shares reversed course after the disappointing report came out, shedding $1.70, or 9 percent, to $16.75 in extended trading. Twitter’s stock has lost more than half its value since Dorsey’s return as CEO.

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