Celebrity megaphone fails to lure ordinary users to Twitter

(AP File Photo/Richard Drew, File)

NEW YORK (AP) – Many people have heard of Twitter. Not enough of them are signing up to use it.

Twitter’s role as a megaphone for the U.S. president, countless celebrities and businesses hasn’t attracted regular people to the service – not in the way Facebook has, or even Instagram and Snapchat.

The San Francisco company’s latest earnings report and dismal forecast suggest that this is unlikely to change any time soon. CEO Jack Dorsey acknowledged long ago that Twitter needs to do more to convince people why it’s useful.

But that doesn’t amount to much if Twitter can’t translate influence into boosting its user base, advertising and revenue. Rumors of a potential sale of the company have long swirled, but no buyers have emerged. Twitter has dismissed such speculation, doubling down instead on making the service safer, differentiating it from rivals and becoming profitable for the first time in 2017.

Meanwhile, Twitter has yet to address other issues, including simple ones such as the ability to edit tweets.

Twitter’s revenue growth has stalled for more than two years, and the company is cutting costs and shuffling executives.

Even before the election, Donald Trump used Twitter like no other presidential candidate. Average daily active usage rose 11 percent compared with the same time last year. But the increased usage is mostly among existing users.

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