There were two big moves for the company today: first, Twitter said it would begin enforcing new rules related to how it handles hateful and abusive content on the platform, which is a problem that has been hounding Twitter for years (and has been increasingly salient in the past year). But the second, which is more likely to be the bump for the stock, is an upgraded rating for the stock from a big Wall Street Firm. JP Morgan issued a note that showed some positive sentiment for the company, which as it has struggled on Wall Street is something it likely sorely needed.
Twitter’s stock jumped nearly 10% this morning — adding a few billion dollars to its market cap. That’s put it within striking distance of Snap, a similarly vulnerable social (or communications) network, which has also faced significant issues selling itself to Wall Street with limited user growth. Here’s a look at what happened:
If things keep going the way they are, Twitter may finish the year up around 30%. Since going public, Twitter has struggled to show Wall Street that it can grow at the same clip as Facebook and keep its abuse problems under control. The growth problem is also one Snap has faced when trying to sell itself to investors. Getting that stock price up does a number of things for the company, including helping it pitch potential candidates with better compensation packages and keep activist investors away from agitating change in the company.
Shares of public companies like Twitter, which can be incredibly volatile and subject to major swings on reports like their quarterly earnings, can see some significant shifts as a result of rating changes from Wall Street firms. Twitter has seen some significant swings throughout the year, but it looks like it may be ending on a positive note. Twitter can live and die by those changes in its monthly active users, but the company has tried to pitch Wall Street on alternative growth stories like video.
As of this morning, Snap had a market cap of around $19.5 billion, which Twitter is now within shooting distance. Twitter’s product updates have been a kind of drip-drip-drip, with major changes looking more like expanding its character count to 280 for Tweets — and it’s faced issues with not keeping up with harassment on the platform. In response to all this, Twitter is adjusting its approach to its policies that are focused on curbing problems like abuse and hate speech, including the updates today.
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