I am not especially sorry to report that Twitter is not doing well financially, according to a CNBC report earlier this month:

Twitter shares continued their slide on Monday, falling to their lowest-ever closing price amid lingering concerns about the social media platform’s growth prospects. …

The stock had never closed below $30 per share, but it ended the day down more than 5.5 percent at $29.27. It bottomed below $29 in intraday trading Monday, down more than 6 percent.

Bloomberg Business suggests it’s a takeover target, possibly by Google. However,

Competitors are looking at some of Twitter’s assets: its employees. Two product executives announced their departures on July 28, the same day the company reported earnings. Todd Jackson, who helped Twitter debut its Highlights product, left for Dropbox Inc., while Christian Oestlien, who helped drive growth, is going to Google’s YouTube. Trevor O’Brien, also in product leadership, announced his departure a few days later.

What they are saying, in Business-ese, is, why buy the company when one can acquire the desired employees (assets) for far less?

Some inkling of what could be driving the trend is the very nature of Twitter, embodied in the Twitterstorms that ridicule or insult people or get them unjustly fired. Recent research has shown how easy it is to ridicule people who admit to mental illnesses on Twitter, as opposed to saying those same things face-to-face.

And meanwhile, how is Facebook doing? A 2014 report tells us Facebook’s profit has soared:

Facebook reported fourth quarter sales of $2.6 billion, up 63% from the same time last year. Profit at the Menlo Park, Calif., company hit $523 million, up from just $64 million the year prior. Excluding one time items, earnings per share were 31 cents, beating estimates of 27 cents per share, according to analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

Facebook is said to be worth 128 times its profits: possibly $192bn (more than Disney or Toyota). Some say growth is slowing, but that may just mean it is maxing out.

Quite honestly, I think part of the difference between the two companies’ fate is that there is something more “human” about Facebook. Facebook is mainly people talking about what interests them, as opposed to engaging in contagious storms of ridicule and abuse.

Am I saying that Facebook is virtuous? Not at all. Facebook is a natural home for friendships lite, fake fans, potentially dangerous acquaintances, and the risk of corporate abuse by a huge, and hugely influential, company. It is as virtuous as its owners and users, and no more. But that’s the human condition in a natural state. Facebook is less likely, by its nature, to encourage them to be worse.

In other words, Facebook doesn’t remind me, the way Twitter does, of Grelber, the free insults troll, yelling at passersby:

Grelber was a part of the original cast in Broom-Hilda. It was never seen what Grelber really looked like, he was only a face in a log and all he did was coming with rude and obnoxious comments on the situation at hand. For some reason he is not used in the series any more. It may be related to the general change in style and tone in the series.

Hmmm. Maybe Grelber got himself a Twitter account and moved on to more exciting opportunities. 😉

See also: Twitter is losing influence? It’s not who is saying it; it’s who listens.

Hat tip: Stephanie West Allen at Brains on Purpose

From: Tech News Today 1312: Twitter Results Are Nothing to Tweet About:

Denyse O’Leary is a Canadian journalist, author, and blogger.

Denyse O’Leary is an author, journalist, and blogger who has mainly written popular science and social science. Fellow Canadian Marshall McLuhan’s description of electronic media as a global village...