Twitter blames issues with Apple's iOS 8 for loss of 4M new users [u]

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Character-limited social network Twitter on Thursday announced a lower-than-expected number of monthly active users for its just-completed fourth quarter, a figure that the company blamed in part on problems in Apple's rollout of iOS 8.

Update: The issue was twofold, Costolo told BusinessInsider. 3 million active users were lost after Apple stopped auto-polling Twitter feeds for Safari's Shared Links feature, while a further 1 million were lost due to encryption changes in iOS 8 that caused trouble for some users attempting to log in.

During Twitter's quarterly conference call, CEO Dick Costolo said that an "unforeseen bug in the release of iOS 8 as it related to Twitter" was a drag on user growth, according to Bloomberg. "We moved on multiple fronts to minimize its impact but it wasn't a one-size-fits-all fix," he added, without going into more detail.

Twitter CFO Anthony Noto later quantified the loss, saying that the bug cost Twitter some 4 million new users. Those users could have bumped Twitter's monthly active users — a closely-watched benchmark of growth for the company —  from the 288 million that it reported to the 292 million that Wall Street expected, though the miss was softened by strong earnings growth and a new search deal with Google.

It is unclear to which bug Costolo was referring, thought it has since apparently been fixed. "We obviously have a great relationship with Apple," Costolo said later in the call.

Twitter was one of Apple's first partners for social media integration in iOS, and remains the one with which Apple works most closely. Apple was briefly rumored to have shown interest in acquiring Twitter in 2009, and eventually purchased Twitter analysis firm Topsy in 2013.