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Twitter Report Disappointing; Founder Hints at Changes

  • VOA News

A 3D printed Twitter logo is seen in front of displayed stock graph in this illustration picture made in Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina

A 3D printed Twitter logo is seen in front of displayed stock graph in this illustration picture made in Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina

The social media platform Twitter says it is considering changes to make its service more user-friendly, after the latest report on its performance showed no growth and a $90 million loss for the company that has never turned a profit.

Despite being widely recognizable among social media users, Twitter has faced competition from both the older social networking platform Facebook and newer platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram.

Twitter suffers from complaints that its service is more difficult than others to use, forcing users to compose messages of no more than 140 characters and to use specialized symbols to perform different functions such as personal messaging and re-tweeting.

Drop in users

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey spoke to media Wednesday, following the latest report, which showed Twitter's yearly user base -- excluding people who receive tweets as text messages -- dropping from 307 million in 2014 to 305 million in 2015. However, Twitter's loss of $90.2 million in 2015 was an improvement from a $125 million loss the previous year.

Dorsey told reporters that Twitter is revamping its service to include the option of having the "best" tweets in a user's feed to rise to the top, as an alternative to the chronological feeds users are accustomed to.

The announcement has caused some dissent among Twitter users, who have created the hashtag -- meaning a popular topic -- "#RIPTwitter," or "rest in peace, Twitter" -- something normally said about a person who has died.

Dorsey says Twitter's priorities for the year include making it more user-friendly and enhancing its live-streaming video feature. He has even hinted that Twitter's 140-character limit, long a defining feature of the service, may be changed.

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