Twitter blames loss of 4 million users on iOS 8


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Twitter says iOS 8 killed its growth. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Twitter announced its fourth quarter earnings today, and while the social network beat its revenue estimates, it failed to meet Wall Street’s expectations for monthly active users.

The company only added an extra 4 million users in the quarter, bringing the total number of monthly active users to only 288 million. That figure was much lower than analysts’ predictions of 292 million, but according to CEO Dick Costello, Twitter’s slower-than-expected growth was mostly because of a bug in iOS 8.

On today’s earning call, Twitter said it’s growth would have been 8 million if not for an issue when users switched from iOS 7 to iOS 8. Over 1 million users disappeared during the switch because they were using Twitter in Safari and forgot their passwords, or didn’t download the app again.

The biggest portion of users were lost because of change to Safari Reader. The feature used to automatically fetch content shared by people you follow on Twitter, but in iOS 8 it only grabs new content when you open a specific tab in Safari. The change with Safari caused 3 million more users to now be counted as inactive over the previous quarter.

It wasn’t all bad news today for Twitter though. The company posted $479 million in revenue — far above the $453.34 million projected. Four million users is just a fraction of the 288 million users Twitter now has, but as Instagram, WhatsApp, and Snapchat are quickly passing it in users, every drop in the bucket counts.

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  • Steve Chavez

    Is THIS why Twitter kept sending me emails about my fake “Joey Ramone” twitter account begging me to confirm my existence???

  • scottcarmichael

    Oh hogwash. Don’t blame others for consumers’ lack of interest. iOS has about as much to do with Twitter usage as iOS has to do with Netflix usage, so don’t try and blame Apple.

  • emcampbe

    Really? Over 1 million users were lost because of the switch and they forgot their passwords? That’s a bogus excuse if i ever heard one. Last time I checked, Twitter did have a password reset function.

  • JFairweather

    I thought it was because they went to a Godzilla sized font and refused to listen to users who hate it.

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  • Ed Jones

    I’m sure it has nothing to do with all the sponsored tweets filling peoples timelines.

  • dminorsound

    Or maybe people are just getting tired of Twitter, myself included, and are closing their accounts?

  • thatboy

    Maybe it’s their crappy apps!
    And the non-stop promoted tweets !!