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Twitter Is under Pressure to Defend Market Share

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Jan. 16 2019, Published 11:48 a.m. ET

Twitter held 8.2% of the global social media market

Twitter (TWTR) is planning to launch a new program to test new products and features at a time when the company is under pressure to defend its share of the social media market. Twitter held 8.2% of the global social media market in December compared to 66.3% for Facebook’s (FB) flagship service and 16.3% for Pinterest, according to StatCounter data. Google’s (GOOGL) YouTube, Facebook-owned Instagram, and Verizon’s (VZ) Tumblr captured 4.8%, 1.8%, and 1.0% of the global social media market, respectively, in December.

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Twitter’s shrinking user base

While Twitter ranks as one of the top three social media services in the world, its user base has been falling in recent quarters. Twitter shed about 9.0 million users in the third quarter of 2018, closing the period with 326 million monthly active users. Twitter’s user base also declined in the second quarter of 2018.

But Twitter is not alone in this struggle. Snap’s (SNAP) Snapchat exited the third quarter with 186 million daily active users, down from 188 million daily users going into the quarter.

Standing apart from the competition

Amid the tightening race for social network users, providers like Twitter are betting on product innovations to help them stand out from the competition and attract new users and advertising dollars. Twitter’s upcoming program that involves users more significantly in the product development process appears to be part of the attempts to help the company set itself apart from the competition and drive user growth.

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