Twitter was hit with a massive selloff on Wall Street after a disastrous earnings call where the company admitted that they were in a turnaround. Although actual earnings were a tad higher than expected, the CFO’s words on user growth sent investors headed for the doors:

Not good, as Fortune explains:

Conventional Internet wisdom is that once a Web company’s fortunes go south, they stay there. Attempts to revive other flailing Web 2.0 success stories like Myspace, Bebo and Friendster serve as a dire warning. Yahoo and AOL have both struggled with re-inventing themselves to be newly exciting to users. Web products and apps are now so closely aligned with our culture that they often suffer from the same faddish tastes and trends. What’s more, Web users are fickle and there’s always a new shiny thing to steal away our attention.

Reuters has more:

Twitter Inc’s shares fell more than 11 percent in extended trade on Tuesday after the microblogging company said its number of monthly average users grew at the slowest pace since it went public in 2013.

“This is unacceptable and we’re not happy about it,” Jack Dorsey, who stepped in as interim chief executive on July 1, said on a call with analysts.

Twitter said it had 304 million core users in the second quarter, up from 302 million in the prior quarter.

Twitter’s struggles to increase its audience worries investors, who are focused on the company’s growth potential, and the latest figures did little to reassure them.

The data on users overshadowed the company’s second-quarter earnings and revenue, which exceeded expectations, and its bullish projections for future revenue.

They also admitted that the service is hard to use and understand when you first start out. I can confirm that this is a barrier, but once you get going it’s not a problem. I suppose the problem is getting people going. The other thing is, some people won’t even try if they think something is too hard to learn. It’s human nature. Some folks just don’t want to be challenged.

Janet Bloomfield sounded the alarm here on this very site. The measures Twitter has taken to soften the service has hurt them among power users. Combine that with the fact that it’s still hard for newbies to figure out, and you have a real problem:

Twitter, like reddit, is a modern Colosseum where spectators gather to watch gladiators battle. Those battles do not constitute ‘abuse’ or ‘harassment’ – they are the reason people use Twitter! Twitchy.com has built a whole enterprise out of finding the best *facepalms* and comebacks – distilling the best of Twitter into one site. Twitchy understands your business, and you apparently don’t. [Former Twitter CEO] Costolo and his ill-advised partnership with WAM and dedication to eradicating ‘trolls’ is the exact opposite of what you should be doing. The ‘trolls’ are what make Twitter entertaining, and prompt users to come back multiple times a day, RT, engage and use the site. Costolo couldn’t grow the site because he doesn’t understand what makes Twitter fun.

The thing is, I actually love Twitter myself. I want the service to continue. It’s been a great way to meet people and help grow my site. There have been many things they’ve done wrong, and I’ve been pretty diligent about chronicling that over the past year. Still, I hope they don’t completely tank. I haven’t liked what I’ve seen as of late, but there’s still time for them to turn it around. Well, at least theoretically. Even if they do end up ruining the fun, I’m pretty sure something will come along to replace it eventually.

49 comments
  1. I’ll also add Japanese people being, well, Japan as part of what make twitter entertaining. Had it not been for them and people like Based Mom, Milo, Baldwin, you and other fellows I cant list all, I’d have likely tuned out of twitter and stuck to IRC like I always did.

        1. Let’s be honest: we saw her idea of positive women in gaming. Anything more complex than an incoherent jumble of pixels void of character growth is a no-no and she’ll find a reason to complain regardless.

  2. I always shyed away from twitter. By concept its set to have petty online arguments limited to so many characters. That and most people I knew locally that used it were total douchebags.

  3. If not for Twitter, how will the #SJW’s co-ordinate which imaginary injustice they can ride all the way to their Patreon accounts today?

      1. I love those posts by Tumblrinas that talk about how spiritual a place Tumblr is for them.

        It’s entertaining and a revelation about those people when you see that the most significant thing in their lives is a site where people post emo shit all day long, glorify psychological disorders and antisocial behavior, and equate equality with hating anyone who isn’t like them.

        It’s like watching somebody claim the best feature of their house is the kitty litter box they haven’t cleaned in weeks.

        1. lol, Tumblr is a place for lulz, I prefer the satire SJW Tumblrs, like Everything’s Problematic.

  4. Twitter forces people to jump through a series of hoops (email and telephone number verification) just to set up a new account nowadays and even if you can be bothered to go through these steps, chances are you’ll be mass-blocked by half the userbase within a month thanks to some overzealous ideologue adding you to a black-list for some minor perceived wrong-think and even if you decide to stick with it, your account will probably be suspended within a year for offending some perpetually-outraged puritan and that’s if you don’t end up in jail.

    But I have absolutely no idea why Twitter’s growth is stagnating.

    1. I have a Twitter account but it’s too fucking depressing to watch the sea of stupid ebb and flow across my screen. I don’t know how Ralph does it. I haven’t logged in for ages.

    2. I’m on my third account, I voluntarily killed my first and most popular account this spring during a routine online identity changeover. My second was banned after Movieblobs shitheel fans mass reported me for hounding him in his replies for all the dumb shit he says. So far nobody has taken much notice of my current one but I’ve just been chilling and haven’t really gone on the attack with it yet.

      Ultimately twitter is probably going to become the latest in a string of sites and services that not only lets the small shrill SJW army run it into the ground but goes out of their way to help it do so at every step.

    3. You also have to get a certain number of followers for your tweets to even be seen so many people give up as their voice is silent.

      1. Which leads to the tribalism because the only way to pick up those first followers is to either:

        A) have popular content somewhere else and a link to your twitter under it

        OR

        B) Join an existing twitter gang and impress the gang leaders into retweeting you so often that their followers start following you.

  5. I have twitter account started it just for Gamer Gate. 119 tweets and 97 followers. Mostly I follow, and listen. I ended up on the GGAutoblocker. Now when I run into someone using it I block them back. It’s like SJW Pokemon, “Gotta Block Em All.” I find it funny I joined a Haiku message system just to watch people fight to not talk to one, and other.

    No wonder Twitter is on its way to the shitter. Sign on and get blocked today!

    1. Yeah I guarantee you they could fix half the site’s problems simply by taking the block button away. There’s a whole suite of options that lets you decide who and what even makes it into your notifications and under what circumstances. The block feature is completely unnecessary and it’s killing the entire site.

      1. Or at least they could disable blocking over OAUTH, so that you have to actually be logged in and must block people manually yourself, thereby breaking all the block bots. Unfortunately, Twitter is a service that thrives on free speech but is run by SJWs, so they’re incapable of figuring this out.

        1. Fucked up thing is people will say you’re being crazy or paranoid when you claim SJWs are a protected class on twitter but the evidence is plain to see. Nobody else gets away with the shit they do or gets the protection they do. Even worse if you live in San Francisco and have social ties to these people you become 100% immune to the few rules the site has.

          Twitter’s staff engages in the kind of cronyism and in-group vs out-group bullshit you’d expect from a bad WoW guild or teen filled anime message board. I am not shocked at all that they’re suffering as a company because as a company they don’t act professional.

  6. I never understood or saw the purpose of twitter. Even trying to read through it seems like a mess. And of course with the SJWs I don’t think i have a single reason to go there.

    1. Yeah it’s funny, I don’t think most of GG was big on twitter or used the site before last summer/fall. At this point the anti-SJW community has transformed from a raid, to an occupying army and now essentially a colony. The damage inflicted on longtime twitter slackdivists by the introduction of so many hecklers is immense, dumbshit SocJus hashtags are still getting hijacked and strangled before they ever get going.

    1. GamerGate has more than enough coders. It shouldn’t be too hard to make a forum where GG and those looking to escape the virtue signalling of faux progressives can go to be and meet people.

  7. On the one hand, you have social justice warriors telling any muppet with a blog or article that Twitter is this mecca of online harassment and cyber terrorism that you cannot use without receiving a never-ending stream of death threats, all of which you should fully expect will be carried out.

    On the other hand, social justice warriors have succeeded, so far, in acquiring the support of Twitter’s “police” department, who go about censoring and/or banning anyone who runs afoul with their social authoritarian ideology, while they, themselves, can insult, harass, or dox anyone for any reason with full impunity.

    So, the people who don’t already use Twitter see it as completely useless and/or not worth it. They are convinced that they will either have their pet’s head cut off or they’ll have their account terminated, all because of something they said in a tweet.

    1. Or get fired/expelled because their tweet hurt the feelings of an ex-girlfriend or offended some feminist halfway around the world.

  8. Commercialization of the internet remains a precarious scaffolding of bullshit and lies.

    I make my living from the internet, as a software engineer. I’m also an entrepreneur who built large communities with market features going back to the mid 90s.

    Advertising on the internet is bullshit and a scam and advertisers are starting to clue in on this.

    Second, most popular sites and services – especially social networking ones – are founded on bullshit statistics that are almost entirely fucking fabricated. Most of these companies have no clue how to become profitable and never will.

    Twitter is no different and twitter doesn’t provide a particularly unique service. They just happen to have the most users. And that is it.

    1. What’s unique about Twitter was their initial marketing that on Twitter, you can connect to celebrities and stars in real time.

      This in turn let people equate themselves with celebrity and now it’s a hugbox of self-entitled egos.

      There are people I’ve seen in this GG culture war that think so much of themselves that they verify their accounts like somebody might potentially impersonate them to their 1.5k followers.

      1. There are people I’ve seen in this GG culture war that think so much of themselves that they verify their accounts like somebody might potentially impersonate them to their 1.5k followers.

        Given how many impersonators there have been on both sides, I can see the logic behind that.

  9. Maybe people are fleeing from it because it’s SJW run and they have double standards on who’s being abusive. Zoey Tur gets to doxx a guy but you ask the wrong question to the wrong person and you’re banned. Twitter is in the shitter and I won’t miss it when it’s gone.

  10. They’ll end up blaming us for this too… Spew something like “gamergate made the environment toxic and no one else wants to create a twitter account”, followed by another dumb rule change that’ll give more power for arbitrary bans, but shield people like Harper.

    Things looks grim.

      1. Not a valid possibility. Twitter is going down because its hard to monetize it: little place to put ads when the API allows for any half baked app to cut any possibility of adding ads.

        Almost any social network allows communication as fast as twitter, and without the limitations. How twitter is still up is a valid question, though

  11. I don’t know why everyone thinks SJWs are the sole cause of this. They aren’t twitter and the people using it being fickle easily bored humans are the cause for it. Myspace wasn’t ruined by SJWs now was it?

    Come on people, put credit where credit is due and don’t attribute more to the SJW then what they actually EARNED. This just turns them into a boogeyman you blame everything on just like what they do to gamergate

    It is primarily the fact that twitter is a bit unintuitive is the biggest issue.

    1. people assume it because of the criticism and response to actions of a number of people being overly arbitrary and leaning to “progressive people protection” (emblematic examples: Randi Harper, Sarah Nyberg and the woman that doxxed a 14 year old girl for not being feminist the way she wanted are still free to use twitter while Milo already felt the banhammer for doing much less)

    2. Biggest issue is that twitter is hard as hell to monetize.

      Investors will only bathe in blood so long before they bail.

  12. This is why censorship doesn’t work on the internet.

    When you try it, when you block transmission of ideas, inevitably you spark the imagination of someone using the service who CAN do it better than you, and then they do.

      1. I don’t think they’ve got a chance at salvage at this point.

        The amount of infiltration they’ve hit now isn’t really sustainable, I mean sure, it is balanced out somewhat by other users who use it as a platform to follow them, but rules and ideology of those rules being forced on the populous when it MATTERS is really the problem. Twitter has already succumbed to much of the SJW’s demands to make it a “safe space.”

        Once that happens, it’s a death spiral, you begin to lose users, then groups, which results in groups coming in to pick up where they left off, but those groups tend to be inferior or less spoken. The losses start small, but eventually become much larger, with large chunks of once great groups and users bowing out due to poor audience or poor environment in favor of more travelled or more usable sites to convey their message of choice. Eventually, it just becomes an amorphous blob of unrefined insanity.

        When it gets to the point that the site doesn’t do what it needs to, you lose people, and they don’t come back, then other people follow. The users that take over generally are the types you see in the rather “interesting” areas of tumblr. At that point, when your main populous is the people who have to try outlandish behavior to get noticed, then call that a community, when your populous is comprised of THAT subset of individuals. It might as well be irradiated, the users you want avoid it like the plague.

        All the while the complaints mount and you’re forced to write and rewrite the rules to better reflect your populous, and eventually, your service is destroyed, standing in the shadow of itself, defying its own principles in the hopes to pull some semblance of what it once was.

        It takes a lot of effort to resist this, but for the most part, it’s inevitable.

  13. The fact that Twitter still hasn’t figured out a way to make money is more concerning than a lack of growth.

    Which is why they partner with Hefty Harper, Zoe, and Limpdicks, because untalented people like them work for cheap/free.

      1. Well, it looks superficially good because they are prominent tech industry “victims”, and in theory Hefty is qualified to write code.

        In any case, these people are completely irrelevant to the broader issue, which is that twitter lacks profits and therefore relies on growth to assuage investors that once they figure out a way to monetize this SOB that it’ll be all worth it. Hiring idiots like Quinn and Harper to work for free does nothing to address the broader issue, which is profitability.

        Twitter loses money quarter after quarter (hence the negative PE ratio) and is not projected to make money for the foreseeable future, yet has a market cap of an absurd 23 billion.

        The entire fucking thing is a bubble, and any sensible investor would be shorting the fuck out of this stock. Facebook was making money when it ran an IPO, but they got greedy and the stock tanked. Asking for a PE of 120 turned out too greedy.

        How do you deal with Twitter, with their -45 PE?

  14. Who’d have thought that creating a service that thins the line of privacy would ever take a beating after implementing one-sided and broad harassment policies?!

    Thankfully Twitter is a tool for social expression and isn’t typically used by assholes to refine their assholish techniques to fewer than 140 characters… Oh….

  15. In contrast to your last point, I want something else to replace Twitter and for it to die. The people running it/working there annoy me too much to use it anymore. The moment someone else steps into the arena and provides a similar (if not better) platform, I’m trying it out 🙂

  16. I liked Twitter too, but got rid of it months ago–far too easy access to hatred and utterly ridiculous stupidity.

    I’ve been far less stressed as a result.

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