Struggling Twitter kills Vine, announces layoffs

Last Updated Oct 27, 2016 2:38 PM EDT

NEW YORK - Twitter (TWTR), seemingly unable to find a buyer and losing money, is cutting about 9 percent of its employees worldwide. It also announced that it is shutting down its micro-video platform, Vine, which it purchased in 2012 for $30 million. 

Twitter, which has struggled amid competition from the likes of Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram, said Thursday that it expects to book about $10 million to $20 million in workforce restructuring charges.

“The restructuring, which focuses primarily on reorganizing our sales, partnerships and marketing efforts, is intended to create greater efficiency as we move toward our goal of driving toward GAAP profitability in 2017,” the company said in a letter to shareholders.

Twitter said the layoffs would allow it to continue funding key business lines while improving efficiency. 

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said in a statement that the job cuts would “ensure Twitter is positioned for long-term growth.”

According to the company, it has about 3,860 workers.

Twitter also announced its latest quarterly financial results, reporting a loss of almost $103 million, or 15 cents per diluted share, before one-time charges and costs. Revenue rose 8 percent from the year-ago period to $616 million. For 2016, the company expects earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $700 million to $715 million. 

Since the end of 2014, Twitter has picked up just 19 million monthly users to expand its audience to 317 million people through June. During the same stretch, Facebook (FB) gained more than 319 million users to reach 1.7 billion people.

Twitter is placing a big bet on live video, and wants to be the go-to place to share opinions in real time.

“But management appears unfocused and complacent, while the narrative has shifted to buyout rumors,” wrote Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter.

Pachter believes that Twitter remains too complicated for most users de

Twitter shares fell sharply earlier this month after companies that had been considering buying the company, including Alphabet’s Google (GOOG), Microsoft (MSFT), Salesforce.com (CRM), Verizon (VZ) and Walt Disney (DIS), reportedly opted against making an offer.

The stock, which has sunk to a 52-week low of $17.29, rose 80 cents, or 4.6 percent, to $18.09 in pre-market trade.