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'We're Not Happy About It': Twitter CEO Bemoans Low User Growth

Twitter reported that its number of monthly average users grew at the slowest pace since it went public in 2013.
Image: Twitter logo at its corporate headquarters
The Twitter logo is shown at its corporate headquarters in San Francisco.Robert Galbraith / Reuters

Twitter reported that its number of monthly average users in the second quarter grew at the slowest pace since it went public in 2013, and top brass is less than pleased. "This is unacceptable and we're not happy about it," Jack Dorsey, who stepped in as interim chief executive on July 1, said Tuesday on a call with analysts.

Twitter said it had 304 million core users in the three months ending in June, 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.

Executives also made clear it would be a long process, and were candid about problems with the service. "We do not expect to see sustained meaningful growth (in monthly active users) until we start to reach the mass market," Chief Financial Officer Anthony Noto said on the call. "We have not clearly communicated Twitter's unique value. And as a result non-users continue to ask, 'Why should I use Twitter?' Simply said, the product remains too difficult to use."

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Twitter is also in the midst of a management change after Dick Costolo abruptly announced in June that he was stepping down as chief executive. The company on Tuesday announced two other executive departures. Todd Jackson, a product manager, will move to Dropbox, and Christian Oestlien, vice president of product management, will join Google's YouTube.