Twitter User Growth Accelerates To 5.8%, With 255M Monthly Users (And 78% Of Them On Mobile)

Twitter just released its earnings report for the first quarter of 2014, saying it has grown its monthly active user base to 255 million.

Will that be enough to avert more awkward questions about growth during today’s analyst conference call? Well, maybe … but probably not. This means MAUs grew 5.8 percent quarter-over-quarter, which is an improvement compared to the end of 2013, when Twitter only saw 3.9 percent growth. But it’s lower than pretty much any other period in the company’s history. (The number also reflects 25 percent growth compared to the same quarter last year.)

Meanwhile, mobile MAUs grew 198 million, accounting for 78 percent of the total. Timeline Views, an indication of user engagement, actually fell last quarter, but now they’re up again, from 148 billion to 157 billion.

“Revenue growth accelerated on a year over year basis fueled by increased engagement and user growth,” said CEO Dick Costolo in the earnings release.

Costolo had earlier said that after taking a largely hands-off approach to user growth (“growth was something that happened to us”) the company has been adding features specifically aimed at increasing user engagement and “will reach many more people” this year.

Even though the company’s financial numbers came in ahead of analyst expectations, as of 4:39 p.m. Eastern, Twitter shares had dropped 9.3 percent in after-hours trading.

Update: Asked during today’s analyst call about Twitter’s identity and whether it will become a mainstream product, Costolo described it as “our companion experience for what’s happening in your world.” He also reiterated that there were 3.3 billion views of tweets related to the Oscars this year, he argued, “Twitter the platform is already credibly mainstream.” The goal now is to help existing users understand “the increased value of the logged in experience.”

[graphic by Bryce Durbin]