Twitter added 4 million new users in Q4 2014, bringing the total number of monthly active users to 288 million, according to its recent earnings report. That was less than the 292 million figure analysts were expecting, however, for which the company blames Apple's iOS 8 in slowing user growth.
Elaborating further, the company said around 3 million new users were 'lost' when Safari, Apple’s mobile web browser, stopped automatically fetching information from the microblogging service's servers. It wasn't explicitly mentioned but the company was clearly referring to Safari's Shared Links feature which gives you a feed of links shared by users you follow on Twitter. The feature was first added in the iOS 7's version of the mobile web browser, but with the release of iOS 8, Apple changed the way it worked -- you now have to actually open up the feature for to it fetch information from Twitter.
In its earnings report, Twitter also revealed that around 8.5 percent of its total monthly active users “used third party applications that may have automatically contacted our servers for regular updates without any discernible additional user-initiated action.”
The remaining 1 million new users Twitter lost, CEO Dick Costollo explained, failed to get their passwords to work due to an encryption issue related to the microblogging service’s integration with iOS. Costollo, however, was quick to add that the company has a great relationship with Apple.