What’s in a tweet? Copious amounts of spending money, depending on who you ask. Anyone conscious during the social media renaissance recognizes how Twitter blew up the Internet during its launch. Since then, however, its creative innovations haven’t seemed to match that original genius. The company decided to redirect its focus and dollars toward funding “Research & Development” (R&D), which seems like the perfect avenue to channel the company’s efforts, right? Maybe not entirely, though.

 

After going public in 2013, the social media giant continues to report figures that don’t completely make sense to its shareholders. For the first quarter of 2013, Twitter told investors to ignore about a third of its total costs. Fortune details much of the expenses Twitter reported, including a large one-time expense — $433 million — to pay for stock options that it had issued before it went public.

 

Although these were understandable costs to be taken into account during the company’s first active year in the stock market, Twitter didn’t seem to be completely forthright with the actual figures.

 

In the first quarter of this year, the bottom line number that Twitter wanted investors to view as its true profits excluded 68 percent of its costs. All costs aside, Twitter followers still want to know more about what innovation Twitter has lined up for the avid fan base.

 

According to its IPO document, in the third quarter of the year, Twitter shelled out nearly $90 million on R&D. That was equal to more than half, 52 percent, of the company’s revenue in the same period. It is Twitter’s largest cost, nearly 50 percent more than it spent on marketing.

 

For such exorbitant costs, you’d think the world would have Twitter glass or Twitter phones by now. Incredible spending may not equal ground-breaking innovation (yet), so what will it take to keep followers coming back for more?

 

Any ideas? Where do you think Twitter’s spending funds are going and what kind of innovation should consumers expect? What kind of R&D could Twitter implement to start reaping profits? Share your thoughts in the comments or tweet me @Kelseymbro