Investors have an opportunity today to scoop up shares of Twitter (NYSE: TWTR ) near a 52-week low. The stock has fallen more than 48% since the start of the year, with May being a particularly challenging month due to the company's lockup expiration. Additionally, Wall Street is worried that Twitter isn't growing its user base fast enough. However, these views could be shortsighted. Let's look at two major developments Twitter investors need to know about this week and what they tell us about the social media giant's potential going forward.
Twitter hooks up with TV viewers
Microsoft announced this week that Twitter would be integrated into its Xbox One and Xbox 360 platforms. "We're thrilled to break new ground in social TV experiences like we're doing with Twitter on Xbox One," said Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president of devices and studios at Microsoft.
This partnership will put Twitter front and center with Xbox's massive user base. Microsoft sold 2 million Xbox consoles in its latest quarter alone, including 1.2 million Xbox One devices. Moreover, as of last year, Xbox's installed base had grown to more than 76 million.
Xbox One users will be able to see shows that are trending on Twitter in real-time within the Xbox One's TV listing platform. For Microsoft, the aim is to position Xbox One as an all-in-one entertainment hub. On the other hand, it gives Twitter an opportunity to prove its worth as a so-called 'second screen' platform for television viewers. Whether Twitter can drive TV ratings remains to be seen, but the partnership with Microsoft is undoubtedly a smart move by Twitter toward reaching its TV goals.
Twitter welcomes Namo Media to the flock
Aside from television, Twitter is also looking to boost its mobile ad revenue. The micro-blogging site said this week that it would acquire Namo Media, a company that specializes in native ad content for mobile. Neither company disclosed the financial terms of the deal, but it is reportedly in the ballpark of $50 million according to TechCrunch.
Namo Media will join forces with Twitter's MoPub, which the social site acquired last year. "At Twitter we'll continue to work on building the best native advertising platform for app developers with the goal of continuing to improve the native ad landscape for all mobile app developers," Namo said in a press release on Thursday.
Rival social media giant Facebook (NASDAQ: FB ) generated as much as $1.5 billion last year through in-stream advertising or so-called native ads, according to Namo Media. This acquisition is Twitter's way of stepping up its own native ad offerings. This should help Twitter develop a more powerful platform for attracting additional ad dollars without degrading the user experience.
Twitter's stock may be in the dumps lately, but the company is still in the early stages of its growth story. Smart partnerships like its recent integration with Microsoft's Xbox One demonstrate how Twitter could make itself an integral part of the TV viewing experience. Meanwhile, Twitter's acquisition of Namo Media should help it better monetize its user base. Twitter's ad revenue per user has already surpassed other social networks including LinkedIn, and this gap should continue to widen as Namo's technology is integrated into Twitter's business.
Therefore, Twitter looks attractive at its current price of around $33 a share. Moreover, at these levels the stock is trading more than 55% below its 52-week high. This creates a good entry point for long-term buyers.
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