Twitter today will begin rolling out
its new "Stickers" feature for iOS and Android devices, which it first announced in June
, letting users choose from a set of custom-made stickers in order to customize photos before posting them to the micro-blogging social network. The update brings Twitter a step closer to the comical editing capabilities of Snapchat, where users can place, enlarge, and filter emojis layered on top of their pictures.
But, ahead of the official launch of Stickers, Twitter reported "its slowest revenue growth since going public in 2013." As reported by Reuters
earlier this week, Twitter's most recent earnings forecast referenced a "disappointing" near future for the company as it struggles to keep pace with services that are catching fire, like Snapchat and Instagram.
Overall, this year the company's user base expanded 1 percent from Q1 (310 million monthly active users) to Q2 (313 million MAU). Revenue during the second quarter also hit below expectations, as the company's current quarter forecast of between $590 million and $610 million fell below analyst estimates of about $678.18 million.
The question now for investors, and executives at Twitter, is whether the service should pivot into a "niche product," now that its days of booming growth are behind it, and most people sticking around are longtime, loyal users. Either way, the company is said to have a plan in mind to turn things around, focusing on five key areas: its core service, live-streaming video, the site's "creators and influencers," safety, and developers.
"Clearly, the turnaround is still a work in progress and the question of whether being a platform for a mass audience versus a niche audience needs to be answered," said James Cakmak, analyst at Monness, Crespi, Hardt & Co.
"We are a year into Dorsey coming back and there is really no end in sight of when it is going to start picking up to where investors are going to be happy," said Patrick Moorhead, analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy.
During the earnings call (which the company has streamed on its own live-streaming app Periscope
in the past), CEO Jack Dorsey pointed out small, incremental changes brought to Twitter that he believes will help make bigger differences in public opinion in the long run. These amount to gaining the most out of its 140 character limit
, including not counting links and mentions -- and soon media links -- in a tweet's character count. Presumably, beginning today, he and Twitter also hope Stickers will help bridge the divide between potential new users and their reluctance to commit to the service.
Those interested can learn more about Stickers here
, and anyone who has yet to do so can get the Twitter
app for free from the App Store. [Direct Link