Twitter reported its fourth-quarter results today and failed to impress investors as revenue growth nearly slowed to a halt. Specifically, the company posted sales of $717 million, up 1% from a year ago, and a net loss of $167.1 million versus a net loss of $90.2 million in the year-earlier period.
The widening loss is due to a $101.2 million restructuring charge for Q4 2016 after the company cut 9% of its workforce — about 350 employees. On the other hand Twitter is struggling to compete for ad dollars with rivals like Facebook which currently monetizes users at about twice the rate.
One bright spot, at least according to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, is the service’s overall user growth. The number of daily active users was up 11% year-over-year, the third straight quarter the metric has improved, but ultimately at 319 million monthly active users it was a gain of just two million from the previous quarter.
"The whole world is watching Twitter," Jack Dorsey, Twitter's cofounder and CEO, said on a conference call with analysts. "While we may not be currently meeting everyone's growth expectations, there is one thing that continues to grow and outpace our peers: Twitter's influence and impact."
Indeed Twitter is at its best when it comes to real-time political, sporting, entertainment and other current events. But the service struggles with making its product simpler and friendlier to reach a mass audience. One sticking point has also been Twitter's inability to curb abuse on its platform, which is something the company is beginning to take stronger steps against to address the problem.