Twitter, the microblogging service that has amassed more than 200 million users in seven years, is struggling to widen its audience as quickly.
While chief executive
The results raised concerns that the service's easy growth phase is ending. As recently as a year ago, Twitter, which began in 2006 and lets people communicate through 140-character messages, was adding new users at rates of more than 60 percent a year and timeline views were soaring.
If the usage declines continue and new members join more gradually, the unprofitable company may fall short of its goal to be a mainstream service like
"Twitter needs to answer the question about whether it can ever become a mass-market product, or whether it's more destined to be a niche for news junkies," said
Costolo said the company had a plan to increase the number of users and engagement, primarily by making the site easier to use. "Up until last year, our growth has been viral and organic." Now "it will be a combination of changes introduced over the course of the year that will start to change the slope of the growth curve".
Twitter's stock fell as low as
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