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Tag: Getting

It’s Getting Harder And Harder For Twitter To Find New Users

Twitter just isn't growing like it used to.

The social media company said on Tuesday that its number of monthly active users totaled 307 million in the third quarter of the year, excluding those who use the service through texting. While that may seem like a big number, it's only 8% more users than in the corresponding period a year earlier. Compared to the second quarter of this year, the number of users grew just 1%.

This 8% growth rate is slow, particularly in the eyes of Wall Street investors. In all of the quarters since Twitter went public in 2013, it hasn't reported a slower rate, according to an analysis by The Wall Street Journal.

Employees of Japanese toy company Tomy dressed as Twitter birds during the company's Halloween Day event.

Yoshikazu Tsuno / AFP / Getty Images

In important ways, Twitter exceeded analysts’ projections. The company reported $ 569 million of revenue for the quarter, beating the expectation of $ 560 million. And its profit, adjusted to exclude some expenses, came in at $ 67 million, or 10 cents a share, better than the expectation of 5 cents per share. Without those adjustments, the company made a $ 132 million loss.

But Twitter's struggles with growth are what investors have focused on in the last year, and its stock fell more than 12% in after-hours trading on Tuesday. Investors were also spooked by the company's disappointing forecast for its fourth-quarter performance.

As of the close of trading on Tuesday, Twitter stock is down 30% from the price it traded at after its first day as a public company in November 2013. On that first day, investors valued the then loss making company at almost $ 25 billion, betting that it would grow in the explosive manner familiar to those who have followed internet success stories like Facebook and Google. Instead, the company has struggled.

Just take a look at this chart. One almost gets the feeling that Twitter is a slowly deflating balloon. Each quarter, a little more air seeps out.

Users are the crucial ingredient in Twitter's business plan. More people using the service means more eyeballs viewing ads and other promotions, thus generating more revenue for Twitter.

Twitter is doing some things to try to attract more people. It recently introduced Moments, which lets people follow particular stories, and it's planning on running an ad during the World Series tonight.

But so far, Twitter hasn't been able to produce the kind of hockey-stick-shaped growth that investors love. It's not Facebook, a company that overcame an initial setback after its IPO by dramatically sharpening its focus on mobile devices.

Here's another version of the user growth chart, focusing on the United States. The big question for Twitter — and the fear keeping investors up at night — is whether user growth has simply begun to plateau.

BuzzFeed – Tech

The Number Of Drones Getting Close To Aircraft Is Skyrocketing, FAA Warns

Alex Brandon / AP

The use of drones has skyrocketed this year, but their sudden popularity has also brought the unmanned aircraft near the paths of helicopters and commercial planes in far greater numbers, federal officials warned Thursday.

Pilots have reported unmanned drones near their flight path more than 650 times so far this year, far exceeding the 238 sightings for all of 2014, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Some drones have even been spotted hovering as high as 10,000 feet, prompting the agency Thursday to issue a warning about flying drones into the path of other aircraft, which is illegal.

According to the FAA, reports of drones near aircraft started to spike this year. In June 2014 there were 16 sightings. But in June of this year, the encounters spiked with 138 reported in the month, increasing fears of a mid-air collision that could result in bringing down a plane or helicopter.

John Amis / AP

“The FAA wants to send out a clear message that operating drones around airplanes and helicopters is dangerous and illegal,” the FAA said in a statement.

Operators who get caught flying drones near aircraft could be subject to stiff fines and criminal charges, which could bring jail time.

They could also play a role in delaying emergency responses, either to wildfires or medical transports.

In July, firefighters battling a brush fire in California pulled back flying water-carrying helicopters for about 20 minutes after they spotted up to five drones flying in the area.

vine.co

The fire burned 20 vehicles flames crossed over Interstate 15, prompting drivers to jump out of their cars and flee.

In Dallas, the pilot of a Boeing 737 this June reported seeing a drone just “a few hundred feet” from the plane's wing as it began to land, according to the Dallas Morning News.

And earlier this year, another one of the aircraft crashed into the lawn of the White House.

But it isn't just federal agencies that have grown tired of the small unmanned aircraft, some of which can be equipped with high-definition cameras.

In Hillview, Kentucky, a 47-year-old man was arrested after shooting down a drone with his shotgun.

The Hillview man told local news station WDRB he shot down the craft after his teenage daughter, who was sunbathing, spotted the drone hovering in their backyard.

A drone Interceptor MP200, top, catches a drone DJI Phantom 2 with a net during a demonstration flight in La Queue-en-Brie, east of Paris, France, Monday, Feb. 9, 2015.

Francois Mori / AP

France, which has had issues with drones flying close to landmarks and nuclear power plants, has started testing stronger, faster drones with nets to grab others when they near areas that are off-limits.

Businesses who want to fly drones commercially are required to get permission from the FAA. Regulators, meanwhile, say they are working with industry partners to educate non-commercial drone users on where they can and cannot fly.

For those who break the law, however, the FAA warned that it is working with local law enforcement agencies to identify violators and open investigations.

The agency said it currently has “dozens” of open enforcement cases.

BuzzFeed – Tech