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Twitter, Inc.
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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.

We should describe Twitter in 280 characters, but we’ll probably use more. That’s the number of letters (and spaces) the social media platform’s users have to express themselves in each tweet. Millions of people around the world use Twitter every day, many of them posting multiple tweets a day from PCs, mobile devices, and smartphones. The service has become a key real-time communication platform as major events unfold around the world. Twitter claims more than 335 million users worldwide. It makes most of its money from advertisers trying to reach those users. (Character count: 568).

Operations

Twitter generates more than 85% of its revenue from the sale of advertising (mostly from mobile advertising), with the remaining 15% 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 data products and services offer sophisticated data sets and data enrichments that give developers and businesses deeper insight into the public content posted on Twitter. Twitter also offers subscription access to public data feed for partners who wish to access data beyond the public API, which offers a limited amount of public data for free.

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.

For developers, the company provides a set of tools, public APIs, and embeddable widgets that can be used to contribute their content to Twitter, as well as distribute Twitter content across their properties.

Geographic Reach

Twitter's headquarters is in San Francisco, California. The US is the company's largest market, accounting for more than 60% of revenue, while Japan supplies about 15%. The other some 30% is from other international markets.

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.

The company has a Promoted Products Segments which enable advertisers to promote their brands, products and services, amplify their visibility and reach, and extend the conversation around their advertising campaigns.

Financial Performance

Twitter’s revenue has increased over the years, hitting a high of $2.5 billion in 2016. Revenue dipped 3% in 2017 to $2.4 billion due to a 6% decline in advertising revenue. A big chunk of the decline was due to the mid-year shut down of the company’s TellApart ad business, which had $44 million in revenue 2017 compared to $126 million the year before. Sales also were lower in the US, Twitter’s biggest market, while international sales increased. Data licensing and other revenue rose 18% in 2017 from 2016.

Twitter reduced costs in 2017, enabling the company to cut its net loss to about $108 million from about $457 million in 2016. A restructuring in late 2016 cut about 9% of employees and terminated office leases.

The company reported about $1.6 billion in cash and cash equivalents at the end of 2017 compared to $988 million at the close of 2016.

Strategy

Twitter has done some clean up to make its operations and its products healthier. Twitter and other social media platforms have come under attack for some of the content that users have posted, as well as social media’s role in spreading misinformation around the world. 

In late 2016, the company took a $101 million restructuring charge that reduced its work force and the amount of office space it occupied amid other reductions. That helped the company reduce costs by 18% in 2017, bringing it $108 million from breaking even. The company has reported positive net income from the 2017 fourth quarter (its first profitable period) through the 2018 second quarter.

Twitter also made changes to its product to make it easier for users to navigate and to promote good Twitter behavior over disruptive behavior. In a major step, the company removed hundreds of thousands of accounts that it concluded were automated accounts, or bots, run by user trying to influence online conversations. That reduced the number of users the company reports for daily and monthly tallies, but it assured users and advertisers that they would communicate to authentic users.

In late 2017, Twitter increased the character limit for tweets from 140 to 280, which it said allowed users to be more expressive.

Twitter, Inc.

1355 MARKET ST STE 900
San Francisco, CA 94103-1337
Phone: 1 (415) 222-9670

Stats

Employer Type: Publicly Owned
Stock Symbol: TWTR
Stock Exchange: , NYSE
CEO and Director: Jack Dorsey
Chairman: Omid R. Kordestani
COO: Anthony Noto
Employees (This Location): 129
Employees (All Locations): 3,920

Major Office Locations

San Francisco, CA

Other Locations

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