AllThingsD: Twitter falling well short of user growth target

|By:, SA News Editor

Though Twitter CEO Dick Costolo proclaimed earlier this year he expected the microblogging giant to have 400M monthly active users (MAUs) by the end of 2013 after hitting 200M in Dec. '12, sources tell AllThingsD Twitter currently has ~240M MAUs.

That implies a 2013 growth rate of less than 4.5M MAUs/month, and suggests Twitter will end the year with ~260M, far below Costolo's target. For reference, Facebook (FB -0.9%) closed Q2 with 1.15B total MAUs (+3.6% Q/Q and +21% Y/Y) and 819M mobile MAUs. Om Malik previously reported Twitter is falling short of Costolo's target, but didn't give a specific number.

Twitter employees tell AllThingsD their company "has a basic problem with churn — lots of people sample the service, and then stop using it." Twitter is trying to address the problem in part by adding Facebook-like features (such as a conversations view) it hopes will make the service less intimidating to new users. Ironically, this is happening while Facebook tries to become more like Twitter.

Twitter shareholders GSV Capital (GSVC +14.5%) and the Firsthand Technology Value Fund (SVVC +6.5%) remain up sharply. However, Chinese microblogging leader Sina (SINA -2.4%) has given up yesterday's AH gains.

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