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To: richardred who wrote (1123)9/27/2017 5:01:33 PM
From: Glenn Petersen
   of 1144
 
I have the same problem. Sometimes I would like to include a comment or a short quote from an article I am referencing.

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To: richardred who wrote (1123)9/30/2017 9:51:32 PM
From: Glenn Petersen
   of 1144
 
Personally, I think that an acquisition makes more sense, but who know?

Why Amazon should buy Twitter

It’s not a crazy idea.


by Kurt Wagner
Recode
Sep 30, 2017, 12:41pm EDT



Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images
Amazon should buy Twitter.
________________

One year ago, when Twitter was out looking for a new home, Amazon wasn’t really mentioned as a possible suitor. But many people — myself included — think Twitter will eventually have to sell. After years of little user growth and no profits, it’s clear the company needs a larger, more stable parent to protect it from the pressures of public company life.

Amazon could be that larger, more stable benefactor.

The current state of play: Twitter may be the most relevant it’s ever been, thanks in part to President Donald Trump, who uses the service daily to make pronouncements that end up destabilizing financial markets as well as world affairs. He’s stoked political tensions, bickered with other politicians, and created drama with other nations. ( Hi, North Korea!)

Trump aside, there are other reasons, though unproven, for why Twitter might look appealing to Amazon. It’s still the best platform for real-time search (which is why a lot of Google searches now show tweets), and while Twitter hasn’t perfected its search product, there is a lot of potential. Twitter hasn’t figured out social commerce yet either, but perhaps Amazon could make it work.

There are a lot of other reasons, which we get to below, but before that, let’s talk money. Amazon could easily make it work. Even at a very high 30 percent premium, Twitter’s takeout price would be around $16 billion. And while Amazon had $15.4 billion in cash at the end of June, it could offer stock plus cash. Or it could just borrow the funds outright as it did when it bought Whole Foods for just under $14 billion in June.

Why should Amazon buy Twitter? Here are five reasons:

Advertising

Amazon has a growing advertising business, and Twitter is an advertising company. Twitter hasn’t figured out direct response advertising the way Google and Facebook have, but matching Amazon’s purchase and search data with Twitter’s data around people’s interests is a fun idea. It could provide an immediate (though relatively small) boost if Amazon decided it wants to actually compete with Facebook and Google for marketing dollars, and Twitter’s real-time search data could prove valuable. Amazon is competing just fine on its own: eMarketer projects Amazon’s U.S. digital ad revenue will surpass Twitter’s this year, but adding Twitter would give Amazon much more data on mobile users.

Live Video

Twitter wants to be the best online destination for live video, a part of its push to distribute real-time news and information. The problem is that Twitter doesn’t have very good live video content. Many of its deals are for video that probably wouldn’t find a home anywhere else. Amazon, on the other hand, has some amazing content, including original TV shows and NFL football, but a smaller overall reach given it has about 85 million Prime members. Twitter, which had 328 million monthly active users as of June, could offer Amazon additional reach for its content, especially for mobile viewers, and offer a built-in social experience for some of Amazon’s best shows. Plus, putting some Amazon videos on Twitter might help draw people in who aren’t yet Amazon Prime subscribers.

Customer Service

Amazon is online shopping, but it doesn’t provide much in the way of connecting people to businesses the way that, say, Facebook is trying to do with Messenger and WhatsApp. Buying Twitter would immediately give Amazon another messaging option — and one that many people already use to try and get attention from brands and businesses. Imagine if Amazon could sell you a new television, then automatically connect you with the seller via Twitter DM for any troubleshooting, receipts or exchanges. Twitter already offers some business features for customer service purposes, but it’s really underachieved there. Teaming with Amazon could help.

Media impact

If anyone is willing to pay for a media company with social impact, it may be Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. He already owns the The Washington Post, which he bought for $250 million back in 2013. (That was a personal purchase, not an Amazon purchase.) He may believe Twitter’s social and cultural value is worth preserving — plus, Bezos actually tweets. Potential bonus: The Post was not profitable when Bezos bought it, but turned a profit in 2016. Without the pressure that comes from a publicly traded stock, perhaps Bezos could do the same for Twitter.

Amazon can be patient

Some believe that, more than anything, Twitter would benefit from some air cover while it gets things figured out. Imagine if Twitter didn’t need to report earnings every three months, and the service was instead measured by its ability to influence the real world and disseminate information? Putting the company under Amazon’s umbrella would give Bezos time to figure out the best way to value Twitter without watching its business get ripped by the media and Wall Street every three months.

recode.net

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From: hollyhunter10/2/2017 7:20:19 PM
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Looks like good entry point here.

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From: FUBHO10/12/2017 7:14:49 PM
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Tech Giants Transform From 'Saviors' to 'Threats'...

FACEBOOK Sandberg Slams TWITTER Over Censorship...

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To: FUBHO who wrote (1127)10/13/2017 6:54:09 AM
From: scion
   of 1144
 
Twitter deleted data potentially crucial to Russia probes

Social-media platform’s strict privacy policy led to deletions of Russian information of interest to investigators.

By JOSH MEYER 10/13/2017 05:07 AM EDT
politico.com

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To: scion who wrote (1128)10/14/2017 4:03:19 AM
From: FUBHO
   of 1144
 
It would be quite ironic for Russia to give America the greatest president ever. LOL MAGA bitches!

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From: Glenn Petersen10/24/2017 10:15:56 PM
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Twitter will now label political ads, including who bought them and how much they are spending

  • Twitter will clearly label political ads and require campaigns and organizations to disclose who bought the ad and how much they spent.
  • A new "transparency center" will have a database of all ads currently running on the platform, with more disclosures for political ads.
  • The new rules come as Twitter and other social platforms are under scrutiny from lawmakers for allowing Russian interference through online political ads during the 2016 election.
Michelle Castillo | @mishcastillo
CNBC.com
October 24, 2017



Twitter announced new ad transparency measures 5 Hours Ago | 01:30
____________________________________

As political pressure mounts on social media companies to say where ads are coming from, Twitter will reveal more information about political advertising on its platform.

Twitter said in a blog post on Tuesday it would clearly label political electioneering ads, which the Federal Election Commission (FEC) defines as an ad used to promote a specific candidate for elected office or affiliated party posted within 30 days of a primary election or 60 days of a general election. Electioneering ads can also include any ad clearly promoting a political candidate at any time.

The ads will have some sort of visual marker, likely a purple dot next to the user handle, and a purple box with the text "Promoted by" and the name of the sponsor.



Courtesy of Twitter
_______________________________________

Twitter will label political electioneering ads meant to promote a candidate or a candidate's party for elected office.

In addition, the company will limit which criteria can be used to target people and will introduce a "stronger" penalty on those who do not abide by the new rules. The company did not say what the tougher standards or penalties will be.

Twitter, along with Facebook and Google, are sending their lawyers to Congress to testify as lawmakers investigate Russian involvement in the 2016 election through online political ad buying. Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have introduced the " Honest Ads Act" as a way to get platforms to disclose more about paid online political ads. The legislation would require platforms with 50 million or more monthly unique visitors to have a public database of political ads and records for anyone who bought more than $500 worth of political ads in the previous 12 months.

Twitter's move to provide more information on political ads lines up with most of what Congress is asking for.

The company will also launch a "transparency center," which will show all ads — political or not — currently running on Twitter, and how long the ads have been running. The database will show users which ads have been targeted toward them and the personal criteria used to target them.

Political ads specifically will have additional information in the center, including all associated campaign ads currently running or that have run on the platform. It will show who funded the campaign, how much they spent on this specific campaign, and how much they spent on the platform in total. There will be information on the criteria used to place the ad, such as age, gender and geography.

The new ad policies will first be enforced in the U.S. but will expand globally eventually.


cnbc.com

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (1130)10/24/2017 10:18:08 PM
From: Sam
   of 1144
 
"disclose who bought the ad"

But how will they know where the money actually came from? It is pretty easy to hide real ownership.

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To: Sam who wrote (1131)10/24/2017 10:44:13 PM
From: Glenn Petersen
2 Recommendations   of 1144
 
You have the same problem with contributions made directly to candidates.

The vast majority of ad buys will probably come from PACs, party organizations and the candidates themselves. These buys are easy to vet. Enterprising reporters and Internet trolls can vet the unfamiliar names. I suspect that they will do a better job of vetting the ad buys than the party organizations do vetting the direct contributions.

Transparency is a step in the right direction.

I suspect when the dollar amounts are finally accumulated that we will find that the Russians spent a relatively small amount on the ads, particularly when you consider how much the candidates spent. Unfortunately, the Russians are masters of misinformation and manipulation and got more of a bang for their buck.

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (1132)10/26/2017 10:26:13 AM
From: Glenn Petersen
2 Recommendations   of 1144
 
Twitter Overstated Number of Users for Three Years

Social-media company still reports better-than-expected user growth; shares jump as loss narrows and earnings forecast is raised

By Georgia Wells
The Wall Street Journal
Updated Oct. 26, 2017 9:52 a.m. ET

Twitter Inc. said Thursday it overstated its number of users for the past three years, even as it reported modest user growth for the third quarter.

The social-media company’s shares jumped nearly 14% in early trading after it reported a narrower loss in the third quarter and raised its earnings forecast for the fourth quarter.

“Our work to increase relevance and make Twitter easier is making an impact,” Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey said on the company’s earnings call.

Mr. Dorsey attributed the user growth to improvements to the company’s short-messaging service that it made in the past quarter, noting that Twitter is focusing increasingly on personalizing the content that appears in users’ feeds.

For years, content in the timeline was listed chronologically without algorithmic tweaks, but now the company is expanding its team of artificial intelligence specialists responsible for determining new content users might want to see.

“We’re hiring, and we continue to look for leadership in all these areas,” Mr. Dorsey said.

Meanwhile, Twitter said it realized during the third quarter that it had been including users of a service for third-party apps as monthly users that should not have been counted, a spokeswoman said.

Twitter restated its users for the past three quarters—revising them down by one million to two million—but said it didn’t have user data going back further than that.

Twitter in the third quarter added four million monthly users, beating analyst expectations of just over one million, and bringing its total of monthly users to 330 million. According to adjusted numbers for prior quarters, however, the number of Twitter’s monthly users actually shrank in the second quarter for likely the first time since 2015, by one million users. Previously Twitter had said its user growth was flat in the second quarter.

Revenue in the third quarter declined 4.2% to $590 million, compared with $616 million a year earlier. Twitter narrowly beat analyst revenue expectations of $587 million, according to FactSet. Under generally accepted U.S. accounting rules, or GAAP, Twitter posted a loss of $21.1 million, its smallest loss as a public company, compared with a loss of $103 million a year ago.


Twitter’s error in counting users tarnishes the company’s credibility during a critical period. The growth of rival Snap Inc.’s Snapchat has increased competition for advertising dollars. Twitter is facing scrutiny on multiple fronts for how it handles problem accounts on its social network, including people posting abusive content and alleged Russian manipulation

Itreally is make-or-break time for Twitter,” said Jim Cridlin, global head of innovation at Mindshare, a unit of advertising agency giant WPP PLC.

Twitter said the error in counting monthly users didn’t impact its measure of daily users, which grew 14% in the quarter. Twitter doesn’t disclose its raw number of daily users, but said fewer than half of its 330 million monthly users log on daily.

The service that erroneously counted the monthly users, Digits, allowed people to log into other apps using their credentials from Twitter. Alphabet Inc.’s Google bought Digits from Twitter earlier this year as a part of a larger acquisition of developer tools.

Twitter believes the impact of the error was smaller before this year because Digits had fewer users, a spokeswoman said. Twitter said it doesn’t have the data to reconcile its user figures going back further than the end of 2016 because of its policy of not storing certain kinds of information long-term.

For the fourth quarter, Twitter projected adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization between $220 million and $240 million—a more ambitious target than the $197 million analysts expect, according to FactSet. If Twitter hits the high end of that range in the fourth quarter, it could record its first quarterly profit since going public in late 2013, a spokeswoman said. A year ago, Twitter publicly articulated the goal of “driving toward” profitability in 2017.

“We feel really good about the progress we’ve made,” said Twitter’s chief of operations, Anthony Noto. “We’re ahead of where I would have guessed back in January today.”

Write to Georgia Wells at Georgia.Wells@wsj.com


wsj.com

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