SAN DIEGO, CALIF (TheStreet) -- A little more than a month after Twitter's (TWTR) first analyst day where management rattled off a host of really big numbers, including a logged out audience of more than 500 million people, the social network now finds itself in the unfortunate -- some might say, doomed -- position of needing to prove that it can be just as big as its rival, Facebook (FB) .
Twitter's opaque numbers concerning reach aren't tantamount to proof by Wall Street's standards. Shares have noticeably perked up in Monday trading, but are still down around 3% since the analyst day on Nov. 12 and are off by more than 39% for the year.
The numbers may never be good enough. Twitter is limited in its appeal, Pivotal Research Group analyst Brian Wieser told TheStreet. The company, he added, has set itself up for failure in emphasizing its potential ubiquity.
Twitter executives have, in fact, said repeatedly that the service is for everyone. "We're working toward a Twitter that everyone in the world can get value from immediately," Twitter CEO Dick Costolo told analysts last month. "We have a goal to build the largest daily audience in the world ... we believe everyone can and will get value from Twitter."
Yet results from Cowen and Company's November survey of 2,000 adults in the U.S. on their social network usage suggest that Twitter will add just 2 million active users 18 or older in the U.S. over the next 12 months. "The growth trajectory suggested from the survey is concerning and implies that Twitter may be more of a niche service relatively," analyst John Blackledge wrote in the firm's report.