US Investors sceptical about Twitter IPO according to poll

Americans have little faith in Twitter’s future according to a new poll. Only a third of respondents said that Twitter would be successful in 2018.
Written by Eileen Brown, Contributor on

Although about 3 in 10 Americans say they have a Twitter account or have looked at another person or company's Twitter feed, they are sceptical about Twitter's future.

GfK Roper interviewed over 1,000 adults  across the US in October 2013 to gauge investor sentiment about the upcoming IPO.

The poll found scepticism about social media's staying power over the coming years.

Less than half of Americans said that any of the six social networks surveyed had a high likelihood of success in five years' time.

Americans seem to have little faith in Twitter’s future. 

Only 35 percent of respondents say Twitter is very likely to be successful in five years. Active investors tend to be more positive on the company's prospects, with 42 percent believing the company will have success in five years.

Facebook fared the best out of all the social media companies included in the poll.

54 percent of active investors stated that the company would be successful in five years. 49 percent of respondents reckoned that Facebook, which went to IPO in 2012, will still be successful in the next five years.

Americans do not have as much faith in the outlook for other social platforms. 18 percent reckoned LinkedIn will be successful, 23 percent were positive about Pinterest and 24 percent were happy with the outlook for Instagram.

28 percent of women reckoned that Pinterest would be successful but only 19 percent of men agreed.  Google + fared well across respondents. 33 percent of respondents believed that Google+ will be successful five years from now.

Twitter has a challenge with potential investors. A little over a third of Americans (36 percent) believe buying stock in Twitter would be a good investment, 47 percent said it would not be a good investment.

This contrasts with the feeling amongst investors before the Facebook IPO. A poll found that 54 percent of active investors thought Facebook would be a good investment and 38 percent said that it would not.

19 percent of Americans surveyed have a favourable impression of Twitter. This contrasts with a poll carried out in May 2012, where 27 percent viewed Twitter positively.

Facebook currently fares more favourably than Twitter. 47 percent of Americans viewed Facebook favourably. In 2012 before the Facebook IPO, 51 percent of Americans had a positive view of Facebook.

17 percent say they use Twitter more than once a week.

Frequent Twitter users polled were more likely to be male than female. The split is 54 percent men versus 46 percent women.

Half of Twitter users are under age 35, 22 percent of users are from 35 to 49, 18 percent are aged between 50 to 64, and 9 percent said they are aged 65 or older.

Forty percent of active investors said Twitter would be a good investment. 

However the survey found that 52 percent of younger adults (aged 18-34) and 56 percent of those with a higher income (over $75,000 per year) did not see the company as a good investment.

Younger Americans and men were more positive about Twitter's chances for success in the coming years. 46 percent of Americans aged 35 or less said the company will be a success five years down the road.

Men were less sceptical about Twitters success than women. 41 percent said Twitter will be a success in five years.

A quarter of Twitter users said they use the site at least daily to send tweets, 35 percent visit daily to read what others are tweeting and 22 percent do both on a daily basis.

Almost half of regular Twitter users (47 percent) follow Twitter while watching live TV or a sporting event (46 percent). 54 percent of respondents with a Twitter account say they are "lurkers". They never send tweets of their own.

Nearly 60 percent of frequent Twitter users turn to the service to follow breaking news.

Only 13 percent of regular Twitter users, those who use the site at least weekly, said they turn to Twitter to find information about services of products most of the time. 16 percent of users use the site to express dissatisfaction with a product or service.

However, it is not all bad news for Twitter as it aims to grow its revenue through promoted posts and revenue generating content. 

Over 4 in 10 Twitter users said that they have noticed promoted content in the Twitter stream, and 31 percent who have seen it say they have actually clicked on it.

And even clicks from sceptical users all add to Twitter's growing revenue stream.

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