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How Twitter’s Non-User UX Efforts Led To An Audience Threefold That Of Active Users
On Tuesday Twitter flat out crushed expectations during their earnings call. While the big buzz was about ad revenues jumping 129%, there was some other interesting tidbits that came out about the overall audience.
During the earnings call, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo stated that the overall number of monthly active users is 271 million, up 16 million users — the highest number of absolute net new users in the past five quarters. This was something quite worrisome heading into the call with reports of a slowing user base. Great, right? But it got even more interesting when Mr. Costolo talked about the overall audience that Twitter entertains. He stated:
“And beyond our 271 million monthly active users, there are hundreds of millions of additional unique visitors who come to Twitter every month but don’t log-in. When you consider the combination of monthly active users and unique visitors, the size of our audience on our owned and operated properties is two to three times that of just our monthly active user base, which we believe ranks us among the top-10 largest digitally connected audiences in the world.”
So outside of the active logged-in users, there are 2-3x the audience simply using the service to stay informed. Seeing this data, there is no doubt that Twitter is not only is the real-time leader, but also caters to anyone looking for the most current info. So how did this happen? It turns out that Twitter’s focus on UX was well thought-out for both the user and non-user. During the call it was stated that :
“We have started to experiment with improving the experience for this group of unique visitors. Profile pages are an example of the limited content we offer to unique visitors who come to Twitter and don’t log-in today. In the last quarter, we improved profile pages to make them more engaging, more visually appealing to everybody who comes to Twitter, whether they are logged-in or logged-out. And we will run experiments and continue to run experiments to improve the overall experience for logged-out unique visitors. “
While making non-users feel at home, Twitter also made it clear that the central focus is to remain focused on the experience of the monthly active user base, but that this overall reach is a significant opportunity. They even went as far as talking about future revenue opportunities that they offer to their users for these logged out lurkers.
So the moral of the story here is that while the user base and monthly active users are great, the 2-3x additional logged-out audience isn’t just the icing on the cake. It signifies Twitter’s dominance in real-time news and a substantial stream of untapped revenue.