SAN FRANCISCO (The Street) -- Twitter (TWTR) CEO Dick Costolo Wednesday gave Wall Street further insight into the company's global reach, revealing for the first time that the social network's various properties collectively attract 500 million unique users a month who don't log into its apps.
Costolo made the announcement at Twitter's first analyst day held in San Francisco. The CEO kicked off the day with the metric to quiet critics who question the company's ability to reach a massive, mainstream audience. Twitter has 284 millionly active users (MAUs) who do log in, but the additional figure is meant to drive home the point that the service reaches more than three quarters of a billion people each month, putting it in the same league as Silicon Valley rival Facebook (FB) .
In addition, Costolo announced that Twitter is taking a more aggressive approach to product developments and plans to improve its private messaging experience with "significant functionality" in a release coming this quarter. Twitter is also working on a new feature called "Instant Timeline" that will remove the need for people to follow accounts when they first join the social network. In addition, the company, said Costolo, is working on additional, separate applications, modeled of the success of its quirky 6-second video-sharing app Vine.
The ultimate aim, of course, is to keep new users from straying and to boost at a faster clip the monthly active user base that the company can throw ads against. "The goal is to build the largest daily audience in the world," Costolo said. "We are working toward a Twitter that everyone in the world can get value from immediately."
Twitter's analyst event is arguably the most important event for Twitter with firms looking to Costolo and CFO Anthony Noto to reveal particulars on the company's product roadmap, as well as to provide guidance on Twitter's plans to monetize the attention of non-logged in users. In recent weeks, Twitter and Costolo have been the object of growing scrutiny after the company reported that user growth slowed in the September quarter. The company earned an adjusted 1 cent a share on revenue of $361 million, beating top and bottom line estimates, but it added just 13 million monthly active users.
Twitter's stock is down 37% on the year. The stock was hit especially hard after the company disappointed on the MAU front, with shares having fallen around 20% since the Oct. 27 report.
Shares shot up more than 3% Wednesday to $40.90 in the early afternoon on the back of the announcements.