Twitter, Inc. at a Glance

Uppers

  • Good compensation and benefits
  • Collaborative and positive work environment

Downers

  • Growing pains as the firm transitions from start-up to corporate environment
  • Uncertainty over how the firm's ability to generate revenue

The Bottom Line

  • Twitter has a reputation for being a great employer, and is undoubtedly one of the most sought-after résumé names out there.

About Twitter, Inc.

Nearly the whole world is following this company. Twitter operates a free digital service site that blends social networking with the ability to post short messages (or micro-blogs) limited to 280 characters or less, commonly known by users as "Tweets." Twitter's service works equally well on personal computers, mobile devices, and smartphones. The service has become a key communication platform as major events unfold live in real-time around the world. Currently Twitter claims more than 319 million users worldwide. Founded in 2006, Twitter went public in 2013, raising about $1.82 billion in the process.

IPO

Twitter took advantage of new SEC rules to keep its IPO plans and its finances secret for as long as possible, and it announced the filing of its S-1 with a tweet of its own. However, the company's stock has struggled since its IPO.

Operations

Twitter generates about 90% of its revenue from the sale of advertising (and most of that is from mobile advertising), with the remaining 10% coming from data licensing arrangements.

The company's advertising revenue comes from three streams: promoted tweets, promoted accounts, and promoted trends. Most advertising is sold on a pay-for-performance basis, which means advertisers are only charged when a user engages with their ad.

The data licensing business may be the company's secret sauce however, as marketers and even investors clamor for data they can analyze for insight into news events and trends.

The company's Periscope is a mobile application that lets anyone broadcast and watch video live with others. MoPub is a mobile-focused advertising exchange, which combines ad serving, ad network mediation and a real-time bidding exchange into one comprehensive monetization platform. The Twitter Audience Platform is an advertising offering that enables advertisers to extend their advertising campaigns with Twitter Promoted Products to audiences off Twitter while retaining access to Twitter’s measurement, targeting, and creative tools.

The company provides a set of tools, public APIs, and embeddable widgets that developers can use to contribute their content to platform syndicate and distribute Twitter content across their properties and enhance their websites and applications with Twitter content. Twitter also offers subscription access to public data feed for partners who wish to access data beyond public API, which offers a limited amount of public data for free.

Geographic Reach

Twitter's headquarters are located in downtown San Francisco, California -- but Twitter is a truly global phenomenon. In its short life, the site's popularity has soared and its user base has grown exponentially. Large news and media companies such as the BBC, CNN, and the New York Times regularly use the service to distribute and promote content, while Twitter also allows even the most remote or isolated individuals to get their message out. The US is Twitter's largest market, accounting for more than 60% of revenue.

Sales and Marketing

Twitter maintains a global sales force and sales support staff. The company has recently focused its international spending on sales support and marketing activities in specific countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Japan, and the UK. In countries where it has not invested to build a local sales force, Twitter relies on resellers that serve as outside sales agents for the sale of its promoted products.

The company expects its user growth rate in certain international markets, such as Canada, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea.

Twitter spent $114.3 million, $119.7 million, and $46.6 million on advertising for the fiscal years 2016, 2015, and 2014 respectively.

Financial Performance

Twitter reported revenue of $2.53 billion in fiscal 2016, up from $2.22 billion in fiscal 2015. However, even with the strong revenue numbers, the company suffered a net loss of more than $456 million in fiscal 2016. Twitter did end fiscal 2016 with about $763 million in cash from operations, up from $383 million at the close of fiscal 2015.

Strategy

Maintaining its standing as a dominant player in the digital media world requires constant innovation and Twitter has undergone some redesigns and evolutions. The company's efforts to innovate and improve the Twitter user experience have mostly fallen flat. Twitter expanded its character limit from 140 to 280 in late 2017.

The company faces significant competition for advertiser spend. Innovation within the mobile ad space will be key to Twitter's survival.

Mergers and Acquisitions

In 2016 Twitter acquired Magic Pony Technology, a London-based machine-learning startup that specializes in visual processing, for $150 million. Also in 2016 Twitter acquired the app maker Yes, Inc.

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Twitter, Inc.

1355 Market St Ste 900
San Francisco, CA 94103-1337
Phone: 1 (415) 222-9670
Fax: 1 (415) 222-0922

Stats

  • Employer Type: Public
  • Stock Symbol: TWTR
  • Stock Exchange: NYSE
  • CEO and Director: Jack Dorsey
  • Chairman: Omid R. Kordestani
  • COO: Anthony Noto
  • 2016 Employees: 3,583

Major Office Locations

  • San Francisco, CA

Other Locations

  • Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
  • Hamburg, Germany
  • Bengaluru, India
  • Milano, Italy