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! 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.