Yesterday Twitter beat financial expectations across the board. Today the company’s stock price collapsed near all-time lows.
At first look the slip is surprising, if only because Twitter’s stock initially jumped 5 percent yesterday after the release of its Q2 report. Maybe you saw our story on that pop, and checked back an hour later confused as all hell. A number of things likely contributed to this slump — let’s run through a few of them.
Twitter’s still growing, but its rate of growth is dismal. This is an ongoing problem for the company, particularly in the U.S. Most investors probably didn’t expect a sudden improvement on this yesterday, but they probably had high hopes that Twitter would set somewhat ambitious growth goals for the rest of the year. Twitter did not.
To be fair, Dorsey did mention a few product changes coming to Twitter this year. Vaguely, he reiterated that Twitter’s reverse-chronological timeline isn’t the future of Twitter, but said that it isn’t going away either. We already knew the company was heads-down focused on improving discovery, but Jack Dorsey added some color during the call:
There’s a lot that we can do to increase the relevance of what we’re seeing. We think Project Lightning is a good example of showing this. There are opportunities where we can place this in our traditional model such as at the top of the reverse chronological timeline, or in another tab as with Project Lightning.
And investors either don’t like the idea — or they found it too vague to inspire confidence.
To break down Dorsey’s investor-speak, the interim CEO essentially said: “This sucks. It’s not where it should be. We’re not going to really tell you how we’ll fix it. Also we don’t know when it will get better. Trust us.”
Or even simpler: ¯_(ツ)_/¯ … to quote Hatching Twitter’s Nick Bilton.
In any event, that’s not what investors wanted to hear. They wanted an end to Twitter’s CEO search, or an explanation for how Twitter will fix its growth problem, or something. Instead, they got an honest, wholehearted “whoops.”