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Twitter's plan to boost growth: Videos, messaging, and timelines for people who don't use Twitter

Caitlin McGarry | Feb. 9, 2015
Twitter is creating an experience for you, even if you don't have a Twitter account.

Twitter is also testing out an instant timeline for brand-new users in another case of hoop-removing. The moment you sign up for Twitter, your feed will be preloaded with content Twitter has curated for you. If you enjoy that experience, you might seek out more people to follow on your own and stay awhile.

"We're hopeful it will create long-term users," Costolo said.

For the 288 million people who use Twitter regularly, the network has been steadily rolling out new tools over the last month. A native video tool for shooting and sharing 30-second clips, a group direct-messaging feature, and a "while you were away" update at the top of your timeline are all designed to make regular users happy. Twitter said it was too early to tell how successful those new features have been, but did say growth in January is picking back up. The network expects to see 13--16 million new monthly actives in the first quarter of this year.

Kicking out the trolls
Another major factor that could be hurting Twitter's ability to capture and keep users: Its huge problem with harassment. Costolo has acknowledged to his staff that dealing with abuse is a top priority for the company, according to internal documents obtained by The Verge.

"We suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we've sucked at it for years," Costolo said to employees. "It's no secret and the rest of the world talks about it every day. We lose core user after core user by not addressing simple trolling issues they face every day."

"We're going to start kicking these people off right and left and making sure that when they issue their ridiculous attacks, nobody hears them," Costolo added.

But he didn't mention specific ways Twitter will combat abuse on the earnings call, and analysts didn't ask.


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