Is Twitter overstating stats to create hype?

by CXOtoday News Desk    Sep 20, 2013

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At a time when market analysts are keenly following Twitter’s every move, the company cannot afford any kind of negative publicity. There have been reports indicating that the company recently overstated its numbers related to the London Fashion Week and then promptly backtracked when questioned.

 “Twitter Ads blog posted numbers about how well Twitter ads performed at this week’s London Fashion Week… SFGate looked into the numbers, which appeared to be inaccurately high. Twitter has since changed one to 1/25th of what it first reported. Another number, which was found to be wrong by 680 million impressions, has since disappeared from the blog,” reported San Franscisco-based news portal SFGate.com. “Twitter has not noted making the changes to the blog, nor explained what happened.”

New York Times tech writer Vindu Goel reacted to the above report saying, “Twitter overstated ad and usage data around London Fashion Week. Hope it is better with IPO info.”

Such comments could raise serious doubts about the company’s credibility and future prospects. Twitter’s own metrics is the key source of assessing its ability to make money. Any information or data given out by the company at this stage will be used by investors for evaluating the company’s market worth. Any discrepancies or inaccuracies in numbers can affect public sentiment and hamper the company’s performance at the stock market.  

The last few months have also seen the company making efforts to create hype by announcing new features and design to woo the public. However the initial reactions to the design changes have not been quite encouraging. “Previous reactions to changes to the Twitter website suggest that users may not react favourably to the redesign. The introduction of blue lines to group conversations in August garnered mass criticism on the social network,” reports The Independent.

Experts warn that in an effort to create hype as a run up to the IPO, Twitter should not end up hampering its image. When compared to its competitor Facebook, the mass appeal and following of Twitter is much lower. It would be a good idea to learn from FB’s experience with the IPO and focus on addressing some of the key concern areas like user base, growth rate etc.

Also read:

http://www.cxotoday.com/story/what-should-twitter-be-worried-about/

http://www.cxotoday.com/story/twitter-ipo-can-be-a-strategic-move-say-experts/