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Big changes for Twitter, will new users follow?

Twitter (TWTR) is planning to roll out some new features. The changes will include everything from an easier way to share videos to a better, more secure method to talk privately with other users, as well as feed improvements that will make sure key tweets aren’t missed when users are offline.

These features were announced Wednesday at the company’s first Analysts’ Day. Shares of Twitter (TWTR) shot up on the news.

The announcements come as investor criticism over the social networks’ slow growth gets louder. Investors worry that Twitter isn’t attracting and retaining the typical Internet user like Facebook (FB) and Pinterest do.

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Yahoo Finance Senior Columnist Michael Santoli says the company “answered a lot of investors’ outstanding questions” on Analysts’ Day. But, he points out, “nobody yet quite sees just exactly how it’s going to play out because a lot of what they said was what they intend to do, what they hope the product becomes.”

Whether it’s enough to convince investors remains to be seen. However, analyst Robert Peck from SunTrust gave the Analyst Day event a grade of "A-" on addressing investor concerns and answering outstanding questions.

According to the company, Twitter has 248 million monthly active users who churn out more than 500 million tweets per day. But investors haven’t been overly impressed with the lack of growth and the company’s inability to move away from the sort of group text messaging model it started with.

Twitter is trying to make it easier for new users to sign up and get comfortable with the social media outlets. A new feature will be called “Instant Timeline” and will allow new users to pick from categories when they initially sign up. A feed of those categories like sports, television or technology will be shown to the first-time users. The company also plans to do a better jobs of explaining to new users how to use the service and understand its lingo.

Over the past few quarters, big investors have cut their positions in Twitter, and that has put CEO Dick Costolo under fire, according to the Wall Street Journal. Changes among executives and Costolo's uneven leadership style have stirred calls for changes at the top.

Santoli says the move has “probably calmed down some of the criticism because it at least sent a message that they are focused on those things that Wall Street was upset about… but they do have to prove that the product is going to get better and the advertising dollars are going to follow.”

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