Tech

Twitter stock jumps on potential subscription platform

Key Points
  • Shares of Twitter closed up more than 7% on Wednesday, a mostly strong day for tech stocks .
  • The company posted a job listing saying it was launching a subscription platform under the code name "Gryphon." 
  • The ad revealed little about the new platform, though it said it will work with its Payments and Twitter.com teams. Twitter later changed the ad to make it more vague. 
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey addresses students during a town hall at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in New Delhi, India, November 12, 2018.
Anushree Fadnavis | Reuters

Shares of Twitter closed 7.34% higher Wednesday after the company posted a job listing saying it was building a subscription platform under the code name "Gryphon." 

The company revealed little about the new platform, though it said it will work with its Payments and Twitter.com teams.

"We are building a subscription platform, one that can be reused by other teams in the future. This is a first for Twitter! Gryphon is a team of web engineers who are closely collaborating with the Payments team and the Twitter.com team," Twitter said in its original job posting. 

Following reports of the listing, Twitter edited it to remove any mention of a subscription feature or internal teams.

The move could help diversify Twitter's revenue beyond advertising, which accounts for more than 80%. In Q4 2019 — before the coronavirus shut down large swaths of the economy and advertisers began to draw back on spending — Twitter's ad revenue was up 12% from the year-ago quarter. In Q1 2020, it was essentially flat from the previous year's quarter.

Twitter did not respond to a request for comment.

The stock could also have been boosted by Monday's comments from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the U.S. government was looking at banning TikTok, a rival social media platform. It's already been banned in India.

The banning of TikTok could provide some competitive relief to social media platforms such as Snapchat and Facebook, Morgan Stanley's sales team wrote Tuesday morning.

Shares of Snap jumped 5.94% at Wednesday's market close, while Facebook stock closed up 1.13%.

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