Mike Isaac

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Twitter’s Q3: Flat Revenue Growth, Decelerating User Growth

TwitterIPOSometimes growing up — and out — is hard to do.

Just ask Twitter, which filed its updated IPO documentation with the SEC on Tuesday afternoon.

Twitter would like to tell investors that the service’s user base is booming. But it can’t, because Twitter’s user-growth rate has slowed down.

In the third quarter of this year, Twitter’s active user base grew by 39 percent over Q3 2012. In Q2, Twitter’s year-over-year growth rate had been 44 percent.

That’s a problem for a service that started out the year hoping to double it user base to 400 million but has already had to scale down those ambitions.

Meanwhile, Twitter’s revenue growth rate has stayed flat between Q2 and Q3, at 105 percent.

Ideally, you’d like to show increasing growth rates as you head into an IPO, but at least here, Twitter can argue that it is increasing the amount of money from the users it does have. In Q3, its “revenue per timeline view” in the U.S. was $2.58, up from $2.17 the previous quarter.


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work