Twitter’s active user growth in the fourth quarter of last year was disappointing to people inside the company, according to one person briefed on the figures. That suggests next week’s earnings aren’t likely to change gloomy investor attitudes toward the company.
But Twitter’s advertising business isn’t a monolith. Brand-ads sales have shown resiliency, including in the fourth quarter, while direct-response ads have not, the person says. That gives reason for optimism, as brand ads accounts for more than two thirds of Twitter’s ad revenue. More broadly, there is already plenty of direct response ad dollars flowing to rivals like Facebook, but drawing brand advertisers away from television is a big source of potential growth for digital media.