Thursday, 21 January 2016

TWTR - annoying to use, and too much spam

With the US broader market closing somewhat higher, Twitter (TWTR) was similarly on the rise, settling +2.5% @ $17.81. Near term outlook offers upside to the 50dma around $22. If the market resumes implosion mode into the spring, TWTR is set for the $12/10 zone.

TWTR, daily, 1yr

TWTR, weekly


*note the IPO of $26 of Nov'2013, and the hyper spike to $74.73 in Dec'2013.

Now THAT was real market hysteria.

TWTR remains a real mess. The problems started with a leaked earnings report in April'2015.

Since the Dec'2013 peak of TWTR has imploded by an extreme -79%.

Considering the broader market looks on track to break new lows into the spring, the recent low of $15.48 is very unlikely to hold. There looks to be valid downside to the 12/10 zone. The only issue is whether TWTR will go single digits, before a viable rally in the latter half of the year.

Annoying to use

Twitter is a rather messy website to interact with. For instance, just trying to get a direct URL for a specific tweet is still overly difficult.

Then there is the spam, not least from corporations who are paying TWTR to spam user accounts. Its not in the form of direct private (non tweet) messages, but often as simple as a 'follow'.

I had a personal example just today...

I had sent a message to a user, and I made a reference about 'wine and chocolates'.

Within an hour I had a notification of a new 'follow' from 'unWine'.

unWine - paying TWTR to spam?

That was clearly a corporation, and I naturally hit the BLOCK button.

I guess unWine might just have their own automated program to spam anyone who mentions 'wine', but I'm guessing it was Twitter themselves who are promoting companies to specific users.

If that is the case, I can't blame Twitter for trying to make a profit from marketing, but I consider it nothing less than spam. How many people spend their time deleting dozens, hundreds.. even thousands of spam accounts each year?


Where do I think TWTR is headed?

Clearly, the company is not going to disappear. It will no doubt innovate in the months and years ahead, but it is inherently limited.

TWTR itself has already announced it is looking to loosen the current 140 character limit. I'm unsure if they will want users to pay an annual member fee for such an option. There was also the rumour that TWTR would charge a fee to users for having a 'verified account'. Personally, both such ideas would make a lot of sense to me.

Takeover in latter half of 2016/17?     

TWTR is clearly a prime takeover candidate. The usual suspects would be GOOG and FB. From a pure price perspective though, any offer wouldn't be much above $45. I just can't see anyone paying more than $50, not least if the stock is trading in the $12/10 zone this April/May.

*no position, not least as TWTR remains one of the momo stocks.. and I really try to resist getting involved in that kind of nonsense.