Social Scanner: Twitter’s not worried about growth… yet

Twitter fends off fears about its growth problem, plus Pinterest goes global and Instagram has a new messaging app

Despite all the ink spilled about Twitter’s growth problem, the social network is on the rise, as its latest financial results proved Tuesday.

As of the end of June, Twitter had 271 million average monthly users, a figure that beat analysts’ predictions and was 24% higher than the same quarter last year. CEO Dick Costolo repeatedly called the platform “the largest information network in the world” during its earnings call.

For the time being, Twitter isn’t worried about any growth problems – and marketers don’t appear to be worried, either. Twitter’s second quarter revenue was $312.2 million, up from $139.3, partially thanks to the World Cup, which drew in advertisers and new users.

That revenue and user growth is coming largely from new and fast-growing markets; in an interview with The Globe and Mail Costolo included Canada in that latter group. Though Canada doesn’t create as much revenue as the U.S., the U.K. or Japan, its sales-driven Toronto office has grown to almost 30 employees in little over a year, as Canadian advertisers increase their spending with Twitter Canada.

But if it hopes to disprove the growth problem narrative again, Twitter will need to act quickly to foster relationships with with consumers in emerging markets, as it has done recently in markets like Brazil and Indonesia.

After all, there’s only so much room to grow in North America. By next year, eMarketer is predicting Twitter’s user year-over-year user growth will slow to just 10%.

Pinterest’s new head of brand tasked with global expansion

Pinterest is going global. The social network has tapped former Unilever senior vice-president of marketing David Rubin as its head of brand, a new role at the company. At Pinterest Rubin will be tasked with growing the social network’s user base – key to the company’s ad business. For starters, that means growing the business outside the U.S., where it has a stronghold, but also to bring men onto the social network, which has long skewed female.

Instagram has a new messaging service, Bolt

Instagram has quietly rolled out a new messaging service called Bolt. The social newtork is currently testing the app in New Zealand, Singapore, and South Africa. Bolt lets users send messages or videos with the caveat that they disappear once they’ve been viewed, a feature popularized by Snapchat.

Instagram’s parent company, Facebook, recently launched another similar app, Slingshot, which also taps into the disappearing message phenomenon. Speaking to The Verge, an Instagram spokesperson commented on launching outside the U.S., stating, “Instagram has 65% of its users overseas, so an international launch, while different, is actually not all that out of order with what we do.”

Mountain Dew asks Twitter users for a phone call

Mountain Dew’s latest Twitter promotion made use of an almost-forgotten feature of smartphones: the phone. The soda brand just completed a test of Twitter’s new ‘click to call’ feature, a button the site can add prompting users to call a company. Mountain Dew tweeted at its followers, offering them the chance to leave a voicemail for the professional skater Paul Rodriguez at a number set up with a pre-recorded message from the athlete. If consumers left a message, they were entered to win a case of Mountain Dew Baja Blast. In total, 3,500 consumers called the number.

From Marketing

• Seevibes matches brands’ social audiences to the TV shows they watch
• Two social networks are paying users for their posts
• World Cup traffic, new ad tools drive Twitter growth
• Milk West and DDB launch animated YouTube series
• American Standard taps Maverick for social media
• Innodata buys Ottawa social listening firm 

The Numbers

Spredfast has tapped Forrester to crunch the numbers on social marketing at the enterprise level for its new 2014 State of Social Marketing Report. Here’s a by-the-numbers look at the study, which give an overview of what social marketing currently looks like for large brands.


Companies that put the responsibility of social marketing under the CMO, another c-level executive or a vice-president


Companies that have three or more staff working on social marketing full time


Companies that have more than 25 staff working on social marketing full time


Companies that plan to increase staff working on social marketing by more than 20% in the next year


Director-level marketers who say their senior team believes in the value of social marketing

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