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Twitter Beefs Up User Authentication for Opening Accounts

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Twitter (TWTR - Free Report) is getting stricter in its attempt to combat the criticisms that has befallen on social media companies.

Bloomberg reported that in order to open new accounts on Twitter, users will have to provide email address or phone numbers for verification. The company is also working with experts to maintain anonymity of users in riskier environments.

An audit to ensure authenticity of every account created on the platform is also being undertaken. As a result of the update, more than 50K spam signups a day have been prevented, adds Bloomberg.

Twitter alerts that as a consequence of this change, follower count may drop for users. However, the company’s efforts to tackle misconduct on the platform will eventually help it attract more authentic users and advertisers to the platform, and thereby boost its top line, in our view.

Efforts to Gain User Confidence

Twitter has long been criticized for the lack of authentication in order to fight the spam account menace. We therefore believe its new efforts to fight against bots and trolls will help it build trust, repair brand image and thereby improve user engagement.

Earlier this month, Twitter announced the acquisition of San Francisco-based “trust and safety as a service” provider, Smyte, to boost security measures. Smyte tools are used to stop online abuse, harassment and spam and also protect user accounts.

Last month, Twitter unveiled measures to uphold user security by addressing the issue of abusive “trolls” on the platform. The social media provider revealed that instead of waiting for people to report such tweets, it will use behavioral signals to identify and limit their visibility.

Per Twitter’s recently released Transparency Report, more than 1.2 million accounts have been suspended since August 2015. Moreover, from Jul 1, 2017 to Dec 31, 2017, the company permanently banned 274,460 accounts linked with terrorism.

We believe these initiatives will ultimately aid in expanding Twitter’s user growth. Moreover, Twitter’s proactive stance in eliminating malpractices on its platform will also help it withstand stiff competition in the digital ad market from players like Alphabet (GOOGL - Free Report) , Facebook (FB - Free Report) and Snap (SNAP - Free Report) owned Snapchat.

Twitter currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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