Subscribe to:

Subscribe to :: TheGuruReview.net ::

Australia Regulators Set Sight On Facebook, Google

December 5, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Australia’s competition regulator announced plans to investigate whether U.S. online giants Facebook and Alphabet Inc’s Google has disrupted the news media market to the detriment of publishers and consumers.

Like their rivals globally, Australia’s traditional media companies have been squeezed by online rivals, as advertising dollars have followed eyeballs to digital distributors such as Google, Facebook and Netflix Inc.

 The government ordered the probe as part of wider media reforms, amid growing concern for the future of journalism and the quality of news following years of declining profits and newsroom job cuts and the rise of fake news.

“We will examine whether platforms are exercising market power in commercial dealings to the detriment of consumers, media content creators and advertisers,” Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) Chairman Rod Sims said in a statement.

A Google spokesman said, “We look forward to engaging with this process as relevant.”

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The idea for an ACCC investigation was hatched during media reform negotiations in parliament earlier this year, which resulted in a relaxation of ownership laws to allow the country’s big players to boost their market share to better compete against online disruptors.

Independent media analyst Peter Cox told Reuters it was unclear what measures the competition regulator could recommend to the government even if it found the country’s media sector was increasingly anti-competitive.

“You could see this as a stepping stone towards another type of reform, such as tax,” said Cox.

 Jurisdictions around the world, including the European Union, are grappling with how to tax technology giants with global operations.

Currently corporate taxes are paid where firms have a physical presence, which allows digital multinationals to book most of their profits where they have set up headquarters as opposed to where they make their money.

The Australian probe will have power to demand information from businesses and hold hearings. It is due to make its final report in 18 months.

Brave Browser Digital Rewards Comes To YouTube

December 1, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Brave Software, the company responsible for the niche Brave browser, earlier this month opened its digital currency-based reward system to YouTube content creators, giving users a way to send influencers small amounts of cash.

“Audiences can use the Brave Payments system to reward their favorite YouTube creators with Basic Attention Tokens (BAT),” read an unsigned post to the company’s blog. “YouTube viewers can either distribute contributions based on the time they spend viewing material or by ‘pinning’ a set amount for a particular channel.”

The experiment was the first to depart from Brave’s usual reimbursement rules, which let browser users select nothing more specific than a domain as a BAT destination.

Brave Software’s underlying model and its business plan are, to put it mildly, unusual. The browser puts a price on online users’ attention with blockchain-based tokens that eventually will be traded between publishers, advertisers and consumers willing to view ads. At the moment, however, the only real money in the system is what individual users have loaded into their electronic wallets as they experiment with the browser.

The BAT concept is designed as a substitute for traditional online advertising, which Brave Software claims is broken. “[Brave] enables a direct monetary relationship between the content creator and their audience,” the blog post continued. “Users can decide who to compensate.”

To be eligible for receipt of BATs – which can be converted into physical currency – content creators must verify their identity and their YouTube channel with Brave Software, meaning that for significant participation, the browser maker must get the word out. It was unclear whether Brave Software plans such an outreach, and if so, how or whether it would rely on its users to tell content creators to register.

By compensating creators individually, and directly, Brave Software avoids paying YouTube, the platform. Brave Software pointed out that the scheme may be especially interesting to those who don’t meet the 10,000-lifetime-view minimum that YouTube requires before it begins sharing advertising revenue with those who shoot videos.

The strategy can also be scaled, Brave Software contended. “We plan on extending BAT to additional user-generated content platforms so that more creators can benefit from audience support,” said the company.

Brave’s YouTube plan may be attractive to some advertisers, said Lizzy Foo Kune, principal research analyst at Gartner, in an interview. Marketers searching for alternatives to traditional web advertising, she argued, are looking at influencers, among them people with popular YouTube channels, to boost their brands.

“This might be enticing from a marketer’s point of view, [to conduct] influence marketing by directing the payments back to the creators,” she said.

Brave’s approach seems pertinent to niche or regional marketing and advertising, Foo Kune added, because it could provide revenue to YouTube-based influencers – like some of the “YouTube beauty personalities” highlighted in a recent piece in the New York Times – who have a small but growing audience.

Twitter Reverses Course, Decides To Label Political Ads

October 26, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Twitter Inc confirmed that it would add labels to election-related advertisements and say who is behind each of them, after a threat of regulation from the United States over the lack of disclosure for political spending on social media.

Twitter, acting a month after Facebook Inc launched a similar overhaul of political ads, said in a blog post it would start a website so people could see identities of buyers, targeting demographics and total ad spend by election advertisers.

Silicon Valley social media firms and the political ads that run on their websites have generally been free of the disclaimers and other regulatory demands that U.S. authorities impose on television, radio and satellite services.

 Calls for that to change have grown, however, after Twitter, Facebook and Alphabet Inc’s Google said in recent weeks that Russian operatives and affiliates bought ads and used fake names on their services to spread divisive messages in the run-up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Russia has denied interfering in the election.

Citing Russia-linked ads, Facebook last month said it for the first time would make it possible for anyone to see any political ads that run on Facebook, no matter whom they target.

The attempts at self-regulation by Facebook and Twitter have not satisfied lawmakers.

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar said in a statement that Twitter’s announcement was “no substitute for updating our laws.” A Democrat, she is co-sponsoring legislation that would make disclosures mandatory.

Twitter said its changes would take effect first in the United States and then globally.

The new approach to ads would be visible in people’s Twitter feeds, where election ads would have the label “promoted by political account,” the company said.

“To make it clear when you are seeing or engaging with an electioneering ad, we will now require that electioneering advertisers identify their campaigns as such,” Bruce Falck, Twitter’s general manager of revenue product, said in the blog post.

Twitter said it would limit targeting options for election ads, although it did not say how, and introduce stronger penalties for election advertisers who violate policies.

The company said it would also allow people to see all ads currently running on Twitter, election-related or otherwise.

Twitter’s latest move would not tackle its longstanding problem with fake or abusive accounts that some users and lawmakers also blame for influencing last year’s U.S. election. Unlike Facebook, Twitter allows anonymous accounts and automated accounts, or bots, making the service more difficult to police.

 Transparency by itself “is not a solution to the deployment of bots that amplify fake or misleading content or to the successful efforts of online trolls to promote divisive messages,” Representative Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said in a statement.

Twitter said last month it had suspended about 200 Russia-linked accounts as it investigated online efforts to influence last year’s election.

The general counsels for Facebook, Google and Twitter are scheduled to testify next week before the Senate and House intelligence committees.

Vimeo Acquires Livestream

September 28, 2017 by  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

Video-sharing website Vimeo announced intentions to acquire live video-streaming service Livestream and launch a new streaming service called Vimeo Live.

IAC-owned Vimeo didn’t disclose financial details for the acquisition of the Brooklyn-based company, which says it serves up live videos to 50 million viewers from customers such as Spotify and Dow Jones. Once the deal closes, Livestream’s technology will be integrated with Vimeo, allowing users to capture and stream live events.

“With the launch of Vimeo Live and the addition of Livestream’s impressive team and innovative product suite, we can empower a diverse range of creators to produce beautiful live experiences with professionalism and ease,” Vimeo CEO Anjali Sud said in a statement.

The acquisition makes possible a dramatic expansion for Vimeo, often known as a highbrow YouTube.

Like Google’s video site, Vimeo lets people upload clips. But its early dedication to high picture quality and its ban on video ads meant it was more likely to host film-festival fodder than cat clips.

The new direction comes on the heels of Vimeo shelving plans to launch its own video subscription site with original content. The site said in November it would help its creator community develop original content, and supplement it with licensed programming. Vimeo said in June it had abandoned those plans.

Facebook Ramps Up Fight Against Fake News Ads

August 29, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Fake news peddlers consider yourself on notice.

Facebook has announced that it’s blocking any pages from posting advertisements on its massive social network if they continually share fake news. The company is using third-party fact-checking organizations like Snopes to flag fake news stories, after con artists and hoax authors realized they could take advantage of people’s gullibility and Facebook’s ability to make it viral.

Facebook acknowledged it had a fake news problem after the 2016 presidential election, thanks to millions of spam accounts and misleading but influential articles posted on newsfeeds. Previously, Facebook announced that it was blocking advertisers from promoting stories that link to fake news.

Now it’s ramping up its effort by blocking pages from advertising at all if they have been flagged too many times for spreading fake news. Facebook called out fake news for spreading mistrust and making “the world less informed.” Product managers at the company saw that people were using ads on Facebook to build a fake news empire.

“This update will help to reduce the distribution of false news, which will keep Pages that spread fake news from making money,” Satwik Shukla and Tess Lyons, two product managers at Facebook, said in a blog post on Monday.

Pages will be able to advertise again if they stop sharing fake news, they said.

Google’s Chrome Exploring Strengthen Of Ad-blocking In Browser

August 9, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Google has included a built-in ad blocker to earlier version of Chrome, signaling that it will assume responsibility for barring some online ads in the polished product as early as October.

The ad blocker appeared in some users’ copies of the “Canary” build of Chrome last week; Canary is the name Google gives to the preliminary version of the browser, one that is updated nightly and precedes the three-step release process of “Dev,” “Beta” and finally “Stable” code.

Chrome’s ad blocker was present only in Windows’ Canary build; it was AWOL from the macOS edition.

Reports of Google’s ad-blocking plans first surfaced in April, shortly after the Coalition for Better Ads announced a set of online ad types that users in the U.S. and Europe said were the most annoying and disruptive. Google was a founding member of the coalition. Two months ago, Google confirmed that it would introduce ad blocking to Chrome, saying then that the target timetable was next year.

“We plan to have Chrome stop showing ads (including those owned or served by Google) on websites that are not compliant with the Better Ads Standards starting in early 2018,” Rahul Roy-Chowdhury, a product management executive, wrote in the Google post.

On the desktop, Chrome will block pop-up advertisements; ads that automatically begin playing both video and audio; “prestitial” ads accompanied by a countdown clock that appear before content is shown; and what the coalition dubbed “large sticky ads,” those that account for more than 30% of the screen space and which remain in place no matter how much the user scrolls.

Those and other types of ads will also be blocked by Chrome on Android- and iOS-powered mobile devices.

Ads will be blocked by site, not by individual advertisement. In other words, Google will craft a list of websites it contends “tend to show intrusive ads,” and then block the ad categories that violate the coalition’s “standards.” A stray “bad” ad displayed by a site not on the list, however, will not be blocked.

While Google has pegged 2018 as the launch of the baked-in ad blocker, the tool may debut sooner. The current Canary of Chrome is version 62, which according to the release schedule, will release in final form as the Stable build on Oct. 17 for personal computers, Oct. 24 for mobile.

NBC To Host Daily News Show On Snapchat

July 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Comcast Corp’s NBC News plans to offer a twice-per-day news show on Snapchat, the company said on Wednesday, part of its push to attract younger viewers who tend to watch TV on mobile devices.

Comcast’s NBCUniversal invested $500 million in Snapchat owner Snap Inc  during its initial public offering as it seeks to boost its digital offering.

Broadcast news outlets like NBC News face an aging audience. The median age of NBC Nightly News, for example, is 64 years old, according to the Nielsen ratings agency. That is much older than the 18-to-34-year-old demographic that advertisers covet.

Last month, NBC News launched a digital video service, called “NBC Left Field” featuring short documentaries to appeal to social media users.

“This is a concerted effort that is crucial to our future,” said Nick Ascheim, head of digital at NBC News.

“Stay Tuned” will focus on issues of the day and will air at 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. EDT on weekdays and 1 p.m. EDT on weekends. The show will also air for specific breaking news events.

The launch of the daily news show comes amid increasing investor skepticism about Snap’s ability to grow and compete with Facebook Inc’s Instagram.

Twitter Finally Reports User Growth In More Than A Year

April 27, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Twitter Inc has announced that it has had its strongest growth in monthly active users in more than a year and a much better-than-expected quarterly profit, despite heavy competition from Facebook and Snapchat.

The microblogging service said average monthly active users increased 6 percent to 328 million in the first quarter from a year earlier.

Analysts on average had expected 321.3 million monthly active users, according to market research firm FactSet StreetAccount.

Revenue fell 7.8 percent to $548.3 million, its first drop since its initial public offering.

Net loss narrowed to $61.6 million, or 9 cents per share, in the first quarter ended March 31, from $79.7 million, or 12 cents per share, a year earlier.

Twitter’s user growth has stalled in the past few quarters and the company has been trying to convince advertisers that it will strengthen its user base.

As part of its efforts, the company has updated its product offerings including live video broadcasts from its app and launched new features to attract users.

Twitter’s weak performance has raised questions about CEO Jack Dorsey’s leadership and whether the company would be bought by a bigger media firm. Financial markets speculated about a sale of Twitter last year, but no concrete bids were forthcoming.

Excluding items, the company earned 11 cents per share, beating the estimate of 1 cent per share.

Twitter’s advertising revenue fell 11 percent to $474 million in the quarter, above the average analyst estimate of $442.7 million, according to market research firm FactSet StreetAccount.

New Wikitribune Website Aims To Stop Fake News

April 26, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Jimmy Wales, the founder of online encyclopedia Wikipedia, has launched a new website focused on stopping the spread of fake news by bringing together professional journalists and a community of volunteers and supporters to produce news articles.

The new platform, called Wikitribune, will be free to access and carry no advertising, instead relying on its readers to fund it, while the accuracy of news reports will be easily verifiable as source material will be published, Wales said.

“The news is broken, but we’ve figured out how to fix it,” he said in a promotional video posted on the website’s homepage.

The online proliferation of fake news, some of it generated for profit and some for political ends, became a major topic of angst and debate in many developed countries during last year’s U.S. presidential election.

Wales argued in his video that because people expected to get news for free on the Internet, news sites were reliant on advertising money, which created strong incentives to generate so-called “clickbait”, catchy headlines to attract viewers.

“This is a problem because ads are cheap, competition for clicks is fierce and low-quality news sources are everywhere,” said Wales.

He also argued that social media networks, where an ever-increasing number of people get their news, were designed to show users what they wanted to see, confirm their biases and keep them clicking at all costs.

Social media giant Facebook was widely criticized last year for not doing enough to prevent fake news reports from spreading on its platform, and has announced new tools to tackle the problem.

Wales said Wikitribune would combine professional, standards-based journalism with what he called “the radical idea from the world of wiki that a community of volunteers can and will reliably protect the integrity of information”.

He said articles would be authored, fact-checked and verified by journalists and volunteers working together, while anyone would be able to flag up issues and submit fixes for review.

“As the facts are updated, the news becomes a living, evolving artifact, which is what the Internet was made for,” he said.

The Wikitribune homepage said the platform would go live in 29 days. It also indicated that the intention was to hire 10 journalists, but none had been hired so far.

Major Internet Providers Vow Not To Sell Browser Data

April 4, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Comcast Corp, Verizon Communications Inc and AT&T Inc all announced that they would not sell customers’ individual internet browsing information, days after the U.S. Congress approved legislation reversing Obama administration era internet privacy rules.

The bill would repeal regulations adopted in October by the Federal Communications Commission under former President Barack Obama requiring internet service providers to do more to protect customers’ privacy than websites like Alphabet Inc’s Google or Facebook Inc.

The easing of restrictions has sparked growing anger on social media sites.

“We do not sell our broadband customers’ individual web browsing history. We did not do it before the FCC’s rules were adopted, and we have no plans to do so,” said Gerard Lewis, Comcast’s chief privacy officer.

He added Comcast is revising its privacy policy to make more clear that “we do not sell our customers’ individual web browsing information to third parties.”

Verizon does not sell personal web browsing histories and has no plans to do so in the future, said spokesman Richard Young.

Verizon privacy officer Karen Zacharia said in a blog post Friday the company has two programs that use customer browsing data. One allows marketers to access “de-identified information to determine which customers fit into groups that advertisers are trying to reach” while the other “provides aggregate insights that might be useful for advertisers and other businesses.”

Republicans in Congress Tuesday narrowly passed the repeal of the rules with no Democratic support and over the objections of privacy advocates.

The vote was a win for internet providers such as AT&T Inc, Comcast and Verizon. Websites are governed by a less restrictive set of privacy rules.

The White House said Wednesday that President Donald Trump plans to sign the repeal of the rules, which had not taken effect.

Under the rules, internet providers would have needed to obtain consumer consent before using precise geolocation, financial information, health information, children’s information and web browsing history for advertising and marketing. Websites do not need the same affirmative consent.

Some in Congress suggested providers would begin selling personal data to the highest bidder, while others vowed to raise money to buy browsing histories of Republicans.

AT&T says in its privacy statement it “will not sell your personal information to anyone, for any purpose. Period.” In a blog post Friday, AT&T said it would not change those policies after Trump signs the repeal.

Websites and internet service providers do use and sell aggregated customer data to advertisers. Republicans say the rules unfairly would give websites the ability to harvest more data than internet providers.

Trade group USTelecom CEO Jonathan Spalter said in an op-ed Friday for website Axios that individual “browser history is already being aggregated and sold to advertising networks – by virtually every site you visit on the internet.”

Advertising Coalition Agree To Online Ads Standards

March 23, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

A broad coalition of advertising trade groups, ad buyers and sellers from Western Europe and the United States are pushing the industry to stop using annoying online marketing formats that have given rise to use of ad-blockers.

The types of ads the coalition has identified as falling below standard include pop-up advertisements, auto-play video ads with sound, flashing animated ads and full-screen ads that mask underlying content from readers or viewers.

The explosion of ad-blocking tools has launched a prolonged debate within the advertising industry over whether to rein in abusive ad practices or simply freeze out consumers who use ad blocker and still expect access to premium content.

The Coalition for Better Ads said on Wednesday it was publishing the voluntary standards after a study in which more than 25,000 web surfers and mobile phone users rated ads.

They identified six types of desktop web ads and 12 types of mobile ads as falling beneath a threshold of consumer acceptability and called on advertisers to avoid them.

Matti Littunen, research analyst at Enders Analysis focusing on digital media, said the ad formats identified by the coalition “have already been discouraged for years by these bodies and yet are still commonplace.”

The coalition is made up of major advertising associations from Britain, France, Germany and the United States, online ad platforms Google and Facebook, advertisers such as Procter & Gamble and Unilever and news publishers including News Corp, Washington Post and Thomson Reuters, the corporate parent of Reuters News.

“This is an opportunity, with the breadth of our participation, to actually not only capture what the consumer doesn’t want but also to really educate and take action to make that a reality in the online experience,” said Chuck Curran, a lawyer for the coalition, on a call with reporters.

“It’s that measurement of the point where the consumer is not just dissatisfied with the ad experience but actually more likely to use ad blockers and this is what we capture with the better ads standards.”

Ad-blocking, which has surged steadily since 2013, covered 615 million computer or mobile devices in 2016, up 30 percent from a year ago, according to estimates from Dublin-based PageFair, a firm that helps advertisers find ways to overcome blockers. That’s 11 percent of the world’s online populatio

Facebook Sets Sights On Television Set-top Boxes

February 2, 2017 by  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

Facebook Inc is developing an app for television set-top boxes, including Apple Inc’s Apple TV, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The world’s biggest online social network is also in discussions with media companies to license long-form, TV-quality programming, the Journal reported on Tuesday.

Facebook declined to comment.

An app for set-top boxes would bring Facebook closer to live video and video advertisements.

Getting advertisers to buy more video ads is key to Facebook’s continued revenue growth as such ads fetch higher rates from advertisers than text or photo-based ads.

Live video is also becoming a highly competitive feature on social platforms, with companies competing to stream major sports events and exclusive video components from high-profile events such as the Oscar and Grammy awards shows.

In April, Facebook expanded its live video product, Facebook Live – a potential threat to broadcast television, giving it prominent placement on its app and rolling out features to make it easier for users to search and comment in real time.

China’s Baidu Jumps On Augmented Reality Bandwagon

January 18, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Chinese search engine Baidu Inc announced that it has launched an augmented reality (AR) lab in Beijing as part of a $200 million effort to revitalize the company’s shrinking profits with cutting edge technology.

The lab, which currently employs 55 people, will initially aim to drive revenue through AR marketing, though will later explore healthcare and education.

“AR marketing is taking off,” Andrew Ng, the chief scientist overseeing Baidu’s artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality and deep learning projects, told Reuters.

 “There are few content formats where the content is evergreen – AR will be like that,” he said.

Popularised in 2016 by Nintendo Co Ltd’s Pokemon Go game, augmented reality involves rendering virtual images over real life settings viewed on a smartphone, headset or other device. In marketing, the software can be used to animate a product or a branded space.

Baidu’s AR launch comes as the company gears up to report full-year earnings next month. It has forecast a revenue drop of around 4.6 percent as it grapples with the aftermath of new government curbs on medical advertising. Those curbs have slashed into the profits of its core search business and saw ad customers drop 16 percent in the quarter ended in September.

The company injected $200 million into its AI and AR unit in September in an effort to kick start new growth, followed by the announcement of a $3 billion investment fund announced in October focusing on mid-to-late stage startups.

The company in a statement said it is currently working with AR in China with Yum! Brands Inc’s KFC, BMW and L’Oreal SA’s Lancome among other brands, and has demonstrated a small range of high-end applications.

Baidu began working on the technology two years ago, and is working on integrating it with AI to produce visuals capable of interacting with real-time surroundings, unlike current popular AR games.

“It’s working quite well now, but it’s clear that it could be better,” said Ng. “I’m quite optimistic.”

AR technology is still going through a regulatory teething phase in China. While Pokemon Go is yet to launch there, location-based AR concepts have sprung up, drawing the ire of regulators who have refused to license some services over security concerns.

According to Ng, Baidu is yet to run into the same issues.

“I feel like the abilities for AR have risen up in China faster than the Western world may be aware,” said Ng.

Facebook Yanking The Plug On Some Ethnicity-based Ads

November 14, 2016 by  
Filed under Around The Net

 

facebook-display-ads-150x150Facebook Inc announced that it would no longer allow certain advertisers to exclude racial or ethnic groups when placing ads on its service, following criticism that the practice was discriminatory.

The move comes amid growing scrutiny of how the world’s largest online social media network’s policies and algorithms shape what content appears in a user’s news feed.

The unexpected victory of Donald Trump in the U.S. presidential election this week has prompted questions over how much voters were swayed by inaccurate or misleading news items shared on Facebook, mostly in favor of Trump.

Facebook will disable use of the advertising tool, called ‘ethnic affinities,’ for ads that offer housing, employment and the extension of credit; areas where certain groups have historically faced discrimination, Facebook said in a blog post.

“There are many non-discriminatory uses of our ethnic affinity solution in these areas, but we have decided that we can best guard against discrimination by suspending these types of ads,” Erin Egan, Facebook’s chief privacy officer, wrote.

Facebook collects vast amounts of data on its users, including photographs, allowing it to demographically categorize them in ways that allow advertisers to precisely target content to those they want to reach.

The company said it will now use tools that automatically detect and disable ads offering housing, employment or credit that rely on ethnic affinity marketing, Egan said. It will also update its policies to more explicitly require advertisers to not engage in discriminatory advertising.

The changes come two weeks after ProPublica, a non-profit investigative news organization, published an article showing how Facebook allowed advertisers to exclude groups on the basis of ethnic affinities, a practice it said may violate federal housing and civil rights laws passed in the 1960s.

A group of Facebook users filed a lawsuit against the company after the ProPublica report, claiming such ad targeting violated the Fair Housing Act and Civil Rights Act.

Facebook has attracted criticism in recent months for how it polices several forms of content for its 1.8 billion users, including extremist propaganda, nudity and misleading or inaccurate political articles, which have become known as ‘fake news.’

Twitter Still Struggling To Add New User, Grow Revenue

July 28, 2016 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Twitter Inc reported its slowest revenue growth since its IPO in 2013 and set a rather grim forecast, fanning concerns that faster growing social media services will make it a niche product.

The microblogging service operator’s shares fell 11 percent in extended trading to $16.40. While Twitter struggles to find a way to boost user growth and win over advertisers, social media services such as Instagram and Snapchat are expanding their footprints.

Co-founder Jack Dorsey returned to the company as chief executive a year ago, but his plan for reviving Twitter is at best seen as unfinished.

The company’s second quarter revenue missed Wall Street estimates and the revenue forecast for the current quarter of $590 million to $610 million was well below the average analyst estimate of $678.18 million.

Twitter’s user base increased about 1 percent to 313 million average monthly active users in the second quarter from 310 million in the first quarter.

“Clearly, the turnaround is still a work in progress and the question of whether being a platform for a mass audience versus a niche audience needs to be answered,” said James Cakmak, analyst at Monness, Crespi, Hardt & Co.

Earlier this year, Twitter laid out a long-term strategy to turn around its business, focusing on five areas: its core service, live-streaming video, the site’s “creators and influencers,” safety and developers.

In live video, the company has signed deals with Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association to revive user growth and attract more advertising dollars. Executives also said Twitter was investing more in user safety as the company continues to grapple with high-profile instances of abuse and harassment.

Struggling with flat user growth and lower spending by advertisers, Twitter has doubled down on attracting more people and encouraging existing advertisers to spend more as it tries to shape its stagnating business.

“We are a year into Dorsey coming back and there is really no end in sight of when it is going to start picking up to where investors are going to be happy,” said Patrick Moorhead, analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy.

Twitter is also working to better define its role in the social media landscape. This week it rolled out a video ad that showed it as the place to go for live news, updates and discussion about current events, which executives also emphasized on a call with analysts.

 

Next Page »