Twitter yesterday changed how its iOS mobile app is categorized on the App Store in order to enhance its visibility, following the company’s poor Q1 earnings report earlier this week (via TechCrunch).
Twitter now appears in the “News” category, where it’s the #1 ranked app ahead of CNN and Reddit. Previously it could be found in “Social Networking”, where it occupied #5 in the category rankings, behind the the likes of Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp.
Achieving a #1 ranking in the App Store should also give Twitter’s “Overall” ranking a boost, which equates to better visibility in the top “Free” apps chart, where Twitter currently sits at #28.
The company has not commented on the thematic switch, which has yet to be reflected in the Google Play store (where it still sits in the “Social” category), but the change indicates that Twitter is looking to court a new audience interested in sources of breaking news and curated information on current affairs, as it seeks a strategy that will heighten its online profile and significantly boost growth.
Twitter’s Q1 earnings earlier this week showed poor performance, with $595 million company revenues falling short of the $607.8 million analysts expected. The platform had zero growth in new users in Q4 of 2015, but a new tallying system enabled the company to report a 2 percent increase in active users in Q1 (310 million, up from 305 million users in Q4). The company remains unprofitable, with a Q1 net loss of -$79.7 million, and gave bleak guidance for the quarter ahead.
Twitter has attempted to improve its core product over the past year with a number of changes to the way the platform works. The app now sorts tweets in the timeline by quality rather than recency, for example, while the starred “favorite” icon got replaced with a “like” heart icon. However, Twitter’s stock fell more than 12 percent after its Q1 report, indicating the company’s efforts to increase its mainstream appeal have so far failed to pay dividends.
In March, Apple launched its Apple Support account on the social network, which is dedicated to answering customer support questions. Earlier this month, Apple launched a new Twitter account for Apple News, giving its Apple News team a way to promote stories and content on the social network. The Apple News Twitter account is used to share “top stories” and “great reads” curated by Apple News editors in the United States.
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