Updated from 9:24 a.m. to include information on new CFO.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Twitter (TWTR) appears to have heeded investors' cries for more engagement, as the company is doing more with its user base, including keeping users up to date on World Cup scores. Investors are responding in kind, sending shares up 20.8% since TheStreet said the micro-blogging site had more upside than Facebook (FB) (up 12.5% over the same time frame).
The World Cup, soccer's biggest event and one that happens every four years, has been a boon for Twitter. Twitter noted that over 300 million tweets were sent during the group play part of the World Cup.
Despite the fact that World Cup has entered the knockout stage, engagement has not stopped. The Brazil/Chile game saw more than 16 million-related tweets, as Brazil (the host country) sweated out a win against Chile, winning the game via penalty kicks.
The company recently took its App Install Ads feature out of beta, and with the World Cup proving a catalyst for engagement, this isn't lost on Wall Street. Pacific Crest Securities analyst Evan Wilson, who rates shares "outperform" with a $45 price target, believes this was the right move by the company. "With an initial impact in Q2 and a growing impact in Q3, App Install Ads have provided a near-term revenue catalyst at a time when the World Cup appears to have provided a strong engagement catalyst," Wilson wrote in a note. "This combination, plus a negative Street bias, has set up TWTR nicely, especially as investors rotate back to Internet stocks after the March to May sell-off."
App Install Ads could be a huge opportunity for Twitter, as Facebook has seen tremendous success with its App Install ad program, with Wilson believing it could be more than 30% of mobile advertising revenue for Facebook. Once the product is fully ramped up, Wilson believes it could be worth as much as an additional $200 million in revenue for Twitter at its current user base size, an issue that's weighed on Twitter since it went public.