Twitter's Day of Reckoning Is Here With Earnings Report, User Numbers

PHOTO: Jack Dorsey, on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Nov. 19, 2015. PlayYana Paskova/Bloomberg via Getty Images
WATCH Twitter's Day of Reckoning Is Here

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey struck a hopeful tone for the year ahead in a call today with investors as the social media company revealed its user base remained stagnant in the last quarter.

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Growing its number of monthly active users has been a challenge for Twitter. Dorsey reported today the site has 320 million monthly active users -- the same number the company reported in the third fiscal quarter. Daily users also remained flat for the fourth fiscal quarter.

"We saw a decline in monthly active usage in Q4, but we've already seen January monthly actives bounce back to Q3 levels. We're confident that, with disciplined execution, this growth trend will continue over time," the company wrote in a letter to shareholders.

Twitter reported fourth quarter revenue of $710 million, with advertising revenue for the quarter up 48 percent from the same time one year ago.

Dorsey, 39, one of the founders of the site, took over for the second time as chief executive last year. While the site has tremendous reach, it has lagged in attracting and retaining new users, who in turn entice businesses to advertise on Twitter and drive revenue.

The company reported having 130,000 active advertisers in the fourth quarter -- up 90 percent from the same time one year ago, as well as a 153 percent increase in user engagements with advertisements.

What investors have been wanting to hear from Dorsey is a clear vision for the path ahead, and he delivered it at the start of the call by emphasizing a commitment and focus to live events, which Dorsey said is where Twitter excels.

“We’re focused now on what Twitter does best -- live. Twitter is live -- live commentary, live conversations and live connections,” Dorsey said. “Twitter has always been considered a second screen for what is happening in the world and we believe we can become the first screen” for everything happening in real-time.

The social media company has had several victories in the past year, including the launch of video streaming app Periscope and the announcement it has suspended more than 125,000 terror-related accounts, but it's also faced its share of challenges.

Twitter laid off 8 percent of its workforce -- 336 people -- in October, lost four key executives last month, has experienced slumping stock prices and even a revolt from some users who protested a controversial change to the site's timeline feature with the #RIPTwitter hashtag.

Earlier today, Twitter announced it would show users an algorithm-generated timeline of tweets, with the usual, real-time reverse chronological stream being shown toward the bottom the page.