Twitter Earnings Call Takeaways: $TWTR Not #TWTR

Twitter $TWTR held another disappointing earnings conference call today where they continued to demonstrate logic that confounds this Monthly Active User (MAU) and long term investor in the stock. Here are a few of the more befuddling takeaways from the day:

It’s $TWTR not #TWTR

Twitter misfired right out of the gate by using the hashtag (#) instead of the cashtag ($) in front of their stock symbol while talking about deepening user engagement:

TWTR TWEET 1

If you want to deepen user engagement you first have to understand your audience. The audience for this conference call were stock investors and stock traders who refer to all stock symbols using a $, not a #. Twitter is $TWTR and not #TWTR. If a stock trader or investor is searching for information on Twitter the stock, they will search for this: $TWTR. The fact that Twitter Investor Relations insists on referring to the stock in a different manner than the Twitter Finance MAU’s is evidence of a serious disconnect.

Advertisers want demographics

Twitter pointed out that it’s difficult for them to provide the demographics that advertisers want for video. They said they now make users give a birthdate when signing up and they have an algorithm that is good at determining your sex by “who you follow.” This does not sound like a plan to me. If your business model is advertising and advertisers want demographics, then verify me with a blue check mark and I will give you my demographic information (and so will a significant portion of your other users).

The search for new board members

When asked what they were looking for in the search for new board members, @jack said he wanted people with public company experience, global experience, and media experience. These seem to be the same qualifications of the last board. How about some people with passion for the product? Why not add MAU as a qualification for leadership positions? People with passion for the product are the drivers of innovation. People who are engaged with the product understand the value of the product, understand the shortcomings of the product, and will find the path to the product for non-users. Why? Because they want others to share their great experience.

A leadership position in “Live”

Twitter executives mentioned at least a dozen times that being “Live” is important, that they feel they have a leadership position in “Live,” and they waxed on poetically about their ability to live broadcast information as a differentiating factor for advertisers. However, they struggled to articulate a way forward for “Live” to drive revenue growth and onboard new users; which, of course, caused me to tweet:

If you’re interested in the cliff notes of the entire conference call, you can find my live messaging of the event over on StockTwits.

Disclosure: believe it or not, the author is long $TWTR (and starting to be ashamed) 

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