Ben Popper for The Verge:
Twitter says its growth would have been double the 4 million users it added in the quarter if not for issues with iOS 8. After the switch from iOS 7 to iOS 8, 1 million Twitter users disappeared, either because they forgot their password or didn’t download the app again. Another 3 million users were no longer counted as active due to a change in the “Shared Links” section of the Safari mobile browser. In iOS 7, Shared Links — which pulls in content shared by the people you follow on Twitter and other social networks — fetched content in the background automatically. As of iOS 8, Shared Links only fetches content when you visit that section of Safari. Because of this change, 3 million people who were counted as active users of Twitter in the previous quarter no longer were considered active.
I like Twitter as much as the next person, but the fact that they were counting active users who weren’t really using it and are now complaining about that fact is just an excuse. If someone forgot their password and didn’t bother resetting it, or didn’t re-download the app, maybe they decided Twitter wasn’t for them? Either way, blaming an operating system change for your service’s shortcomings nonsense and I’d expect better from Twitter. Actually, with the way Twitter has been treating users, developers, and partners, this seems completely in line with changes.