Social Media

Twitter's Bain: 'Happy' for our users not to tweet

Twitter: Seeing strong growth potential outside US
Twitter: Seeing strong growth potential outside US

Twitter's 'number two' head honcho told CNBC he was not concerned about the number of its users who were choosing not to 'tweet.'

According to recent data, the amount of people actually posting tweets on Twitter is lower than some might expect. Around 40 percent of Twitter account holders do not 'tweet' while around two to three times the amount of Twitter's user-base (last ranked at 271 million monthly active users) view content but do not log in, it was revealed in the firm's latest earnings report.

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But Adam Bain, who is president of global revenue and partnerships at Twitter and considered CEO Dick Costolo's 'number two,' said he was not concerned about the lack of tweeting.

"It's actually something we're happy to support. If anything we need to make it clear that you can use Twitter without tweeting," said Bain on Thursday.

"Some of the most interesting uses of Twitter come from consuming tweets. And in some ways that is not different from a lot of platforms that are out there in the world… only a subset of TV-watchers actually produce TV and only a subset of people in the world are farmers," he added.

Twitter's share price saw some weakness earlier this year as investors fretted over declining user growth and user engagement, especially when contrasted with bumper numbers coming from other social networking behemoths like Facebook and Yelp.

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But blow-out second quarter figures published last month helped silence some of these gripes – and the stock has seen a strong rally since. The firm upped its user base by 24 percent year on year to 271 million over the quarter – and more than doubled its revenue to $312.2 million year-on-year – primarily boosted by mobile advertising revenue.

Some analysts pointed out that the World Cup effect in June could have distorted the figures, but Twitter has discredited this claim and said the soccer tournament did not materially impact the numbers.

Leon Neal | AFP | Getty Images

Bain said the trend of using Twitter to consume content – rather than directly engage on it through posting tweets – was particularly relevant in the Asia-Pacific region.

"When we look at India, Indonesia and Japan – people are using it as a way to find out information that they are passionate about and [to] feel connected to current and live events," he added.

When asked about Twitter's struggle to monetize its international user base, where 75 percent of its users reside, Bain said the company was busy injecting resources into this area: "We've only been opening up offices in mass outside of the U.S. in the last 12 to 18 months," he said.

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"Growth is incredibly strong, in Q2 our non-US advertising growth was 168 percent year over year….APAC is our largest and our fastest growing region. There is incredible opportunity in the region," he added.

Twitter however still lags far behind other competitors like Facebook and Google in terms of the global mobile advertising market. According to eMarketer, Twitter is expected to gain a 2.8 percent share of the market in 2014, compared to Facebook's 21.7 percent and Google's 46.8 percent.

But Bain dismissed this comparison and said it was important to remember other companies had been monetizing their platforms for longer than Twitter has been.