Saturday, April 21, 2018
Business

Vine is shutting down, as Twitter faces pressure to grow

NEW YORK — Twitter, seemingly unable to find a buyer and losing money, is cutting about 9 percent of its employees worldwide.

It is also killing off Vine, a mobile video app where people share short video clips that play in a loop. While beloved by users and a pioneer in its own right, Vine, which launched in 2013, never took off with the masses and has lost its luster as of late.

Twitter has failed to keep pace with rivals Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram and in recent months, rumors abounded that it would be acquired. In a conference call with analysts on Thursday, CEO Jack Dorsey quickly brushed aside what he called "recent market speculation." He said the company is committed to growing long-term shareholder value, and that he doesn't plan to comment "any further on this topic."

Shares of Twitter, which have tumbled 27 percent in the past month as possible suitors have wandered away, rose 34 cents, or 2 percent, to $17.63 in afternoon trading on Thursday.

The San Francisco company said it expects to take $10 million to $20 million in charges as it lays off more than 300 of its 3,860 workers.

"We have a clear plan, and we're making the necessary changes to ensure Twitter is positioned for long-term growth," CEO Jack Dorsey said in a company release.

Since the end of 2014, Twitter has lured 15 million monthly users to expand its audience to 313 million people. In that same period, Facebook brought in 319 million users, expanding its reach 1.7 billion people.

Twitter's service is used heavily by celebrities, journalists and politicians, giving it an outsized role in public discourse. But it has struggled to extend that appeal to a broader audience and has wrestled uncomfortably with bullying on its site and racist posts.

Twitter is placing a big bet on live video, and recently landed a high-profile deal to show National Football League games over 10 Thursdays. It wants to be the go-to place to share opinions in real time.

"But management appears unfocused and complacent, while the narrative has shifted to buyout rumors," wrote Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter.

Pachter believes that Twitter remains too complicated for most users despite numerous attempts to change that.

On Thursday, Twitter said that average monthly active users climbed 3 percent to 317 million during its third quarter, while average daily active usage increased 7 percent.

Twitter Inc. posted a loss of $102.9 million, or 15 cents per share. Adjusted profit of 13 cents per share on revenue of $616 million. Analysts polled by Zacks Investment Research expected earnings of 9 cents per share on revenue of $605.7 million.

Advertising revenue rose 6 percent to $545 million, with mobile advertising making up 90 percent of the total ad revenue.

Twitter said that it was not giving revenue forecasts for the fourth quarter or full year due to restructuring in its sales department.

Comments
Some people are paying for cuddles. And it’s not what you might think.

Some people are paying for cuddles. And it’s not what you might think.

When Samantha Hess’s marriage ended five years ago, she felt she was lacking a basic human need: Physical touch. As a woman in her late 20s living in Portland, Oregon, she found plenty of men interested in dating, but sexual contact was not what she ...
Published: 04/21/18
Judge: Foreclosure defense lawyer Mark Stopa violated numerous rules of conduct

Judge: Foreclosure defense lawyer Mark Stopa violated numerous rules of conduct

Tampa Bay foreclosure defense lawyer Mark Stopa has violated numerous rules of professional conduct and caused two clients to nearly lose their homes because he failed to tell them about settlement offers from their banks. Those were among the prelim...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/21/18
Goodwill to open second store in greater Brandon

Goodwill to open second store in greater Brandon

Times staffThe greater Brandon area will celebrate the grand opening of its second Goodwill store beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday (April 28) at 1407 U.S. 301. The new store will add another 12,000 square feet to the complex, which includes a 200,000-...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/21/18
Regulators allow major solar company to lease home equipment

Regulators allow major solar company to lease home equipment

State regulators Friday determined that one of the country’s largest residential solar companies, San Francisco-based Sunrun, is allowed to lease solar energy equipment for homes in Florida. The decision, solar energy advocates say, could open the do...
Published: 04/20/18
Florida unemployment at 3.9 percent for sixth straight month

Florida unemployment at 3.9 percent for sixth straight month

For the sixth month running, Florida’s unemployment rate held at a nearly 11-year low of 3.9 percent in March as steady job gains continued. While many factors kept Florida’s economy chugging along, three industries stand out for leading year-over-ye...
Published: 04/20/18
Owners say new house is a disaster; developer accuses them of ‘online terrorism’

Owners say new house is a disaster; developer accuses them of ‘online terrorism’

ST. PETERSBURG --- Stretched across the front of Tim and Hyun Kims’ two-year-old house is a big banner with the name of a developer and the words: "I have to fix my new house."Some of what needs fixing is instantly apparent. The front steps are too ...
Published: 04/20/18
Florida hits a milestone: More than 100,000 people are registered to use medical marijuana here

Florida hits a milestone: More than 100,000 people are registered to use medical marijuana here

Florida has hit a milestone of sorts as it slowly moves toward wider availability of medical marijuana.The number of patients in the state who are registered to use the substance has surpassed 100,000 for the first time, according to Florida Departme...
Published: 04/20/18
Q&A: Walmart leader chats about Florida stores, and the chain’s latest retail strategy

Q&A: Walmart leader chats about Florida stores, and the chain’s latest retail strategy

The Tampa Bay Times recently sat down with Walmart director of corporate communications Phillip Keene to chat about the retail giant’s latest retail strategies and how the company is winning over customers in a competitive market.Already, two of the ...
Published: 04/20/18
SunTrust warns 1.5 million clients of potential data breach

SunTrust warns 1.5 million clients of potential data breach

Associated PressNEW YORK — SunTrust Banks Inc. says accounts for 1.5 million clients could be compromised following a potential data breach. The Atlanta bank says that it became aware of the potential theft by a former employee and that the investiga...
Published: 04/20/18
Spring break, hurricane relief boosted Tampa Bay hotels in March

Spring break, hurricane relief boosted Tampa Bay hotels in March

The Tampa Bay area’s hotel occupancy rate rose to 87.5 percent in March, the highest level in three years. The rise was fueled by spring break vacationers as well as insurance adjusters and hurricane cleanup crews flooding the state to restore it aft...
Published: 04/20/18