Twitter….FIGURE IT OUT

If your coming back for round 2 of the blog I applaud you. Hope you enjoyed round 1, but round 2 is about to blow the top off that one. Topic for blog 2, Twitter. The GOAT of social media. In my opinion Twitter is the best, most useful, undisputed champ of the social media game. But, then again, I’m usually wrong….

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Background

Twitter was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey , Evan Williams, Biz Stone, and Noah Class, launching worldwide in July 2006. The service rapidly gained popularity around the world due to its ease of use and creative output. Twitter quickly reached 100 million users posting upwards of 340 million tweets a day by 2012. In 2013, it was one of the ten most visited website in the world, and as of March 2016 it had over 310 million monthly active users.

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What Twitter Has Done Right

Twitter has done so much right, leading it to be my favorite form of Social Media on the market right now.

1. Interesting People are on Twitter

Many of us are constrained by the people we already know, are friends and family. Twitter isn’t for these people, Twitter allows us to interact with new and interesting strangers from all walks of life. They can follow you, and listen to your thoughts, and you can follow them, and experience what they have to say.

2. Breaking News

I don’t want to say conventional media is dead, but Twitter is slowly killing them. Twitter has become a proven platform for breaking news to be reported. The ease of sending a tweet, has allowed for people that have witnessed breaking news, to report it. A few people tweeting at the scene of whatever is happening,  and the news begins to spread. Beating traditional media to the scoop time and again.

3. Tracking Trends

Twitter is a great instrument for tracking what’s hot on the streets with its #hashtag feature. If a youtube video is going viral you’ll be able to find it on Twitter. If a celebrity went of the rails and did something crazy, you’ll be able to find it on Twitter. These trends allow for us to keep up to date with what’s constantly happening in this evolving world. Twitter trends also allows for personal customization, so you can see what’s going on in your community or the entire world.

4. Company Contact

Twitter allows for us to connect with our favorite companies in mere moments, instead of waiting on hold for hours. It allows us to have the instant contact that we crave, instead of an automated robot asking us to press 3, for the 34th time in a row.  Even though the Twitter customer support may not be as robust as that of an in-store contact, the speed that it offers is incredible….(Well sometimes it’s not always the case)screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-7-51-12-pm

5. Celebrity Access

Celebrities love Twitter just as much as we do. It gives them a platform to promote their latest venture and a place for them to let the world know what there thinking. It allows us regular people to interact with them easily. Replying to a tweet or direct messaging a celebrity has had some interesting results, but it gives us a way to interact with our idols that we can’t find elsewhere .

What Went Wrong

Twitter is a classic example of a company that got too greedy too fast. A company that has a great platform and a solid user base, can falter when managed poorly and that’s what happened with Twitter.  Thus, they fell far short of the sky high expectations that they set for themselves when they announced they were going for an IPO. The company has fallen way short of meeting the growth metrics set by former CEO Dick Costolo when he projected 400 million users by the end of 2013. This one quote has haunted Twitter’s growth ever since.

Costolo tried to flaunt Twitter’s potential growth to investors following the IPO, and the numbers never followed. Recently Twitter, has tried to emphasize it’s revenue and profits over its growth, but investors have remained unfazed at switching their thoughts now that the numbers are more convenient. Costolo kept searching for ever more creative ways to spin a non-existent growth story, which has not sat well with investors. Leading to the stock being down more than 20% since its late 2013 IPO.

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(Twitter HQ right now)

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My Hot Take

Twitter should have never gone public when it did. Twitter was blinded by the bright lights of Wall Street and the dollar signs that accompany it.  Twitter was still growing and evolving when it decided to take on the IPO, and Wall Street has not been kind to them ever since. Twitter is still figuring out what they want to do, and their leadership has let them down time and time again. Twitter has been constantly hiring and firing CEOs, which has led to a sense of discontinuity within the company. Right now former founder Jack Dorsey is leading the company, but how successful can he really be if he is also running a second company in his spare time.

Now, how would I fix Twitter…now that’s the million dollar question. First thing I would do would be to fire Jack Dorsey and bring in a new CEO. How effective can Dorsey be if he is running two companies, one is challenging enough. I would want a CEO to fully invest his time in Twitter, because it sure could use it. Also, I would look to have Twitter keep on investing heavily in video content. I believe video content is the way of the future, and Twitter has made a nice start by acquiring the rights to Thursday Night Football. The ability to stream video from Twitter is crucial to their growth, as millions and millions of users will be attracted to their new content. Those two solutions are small steps in helping turn Twitter around. But, hey anything is possible right.

The End

If your reading all the way to the end, thank you. This week I took a different spin on the blog and analyzed a company that is prevalent in the Social Media space, and one that I am very passionate about. See ya in two weeks, for more fire blogs. Until then..DJ out.

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5 comments

  1. Enjoyed the post. I completely agree with your take that twitter is better used for interacting with new people from different walks of life, rather than following people that we already know. It will be interesting to see what other strategies Twitter will implement to gain active users and to continue to evolve. At the moment Twitter seems very slow to implement changes. Twitter may need to replace management, and it also has a debt problem. Twitter has managed to use up large amounts of loans, and it largely has nothing to show for it in the way active user numbers or revenue increases. When trying to evolve, Twitter faces the added problem of finding enough funding to repay its debt and financing future projects at the same time.

  2. Interesting ideas. I agree with you – to an extent. The real problem with Twitter is not that Twitter is somehow “broken,” it’s that Twitter is not living up to the sky-high aspirations that Wall Street had for it. It is not (and never will be) a SM site on the scale of Facebook. Where I disagree somewhat is whether these expectations were encouraged by Twitter or they are the result of Wall Street’s “irrational exuberance” about all things SM a few years ago. I mean, the company does have $2B in revenues, and I can’t imagine that it really costs that much to run if they scaled itself back to a reasonable maintenance staff/ infrastructure for the current offering. Maybe the solution is a bit more humility about what Twitter is/ will be, and restructuring accordingly.

  3. You mentioned twitter trends. Facebook nows shows what’s trending on the internet on the right side of your timeline. Do you think this makes twitter obsolete in that frame? I agree that what’s great about twitter is the ability to interact with people you wouldn’t have normally. So many celebrities now release tweets instead of actual press releases because they are faster and more personal.

  4. jagpalsingh03 · ·

    Great blog post and I agree with you, Twitter is my go to social media and I find it to be the most useful social media in my day-to-day life. I do disagree with you on your opinion on the future of Twitter. I don’t think Twitter is faltering all that much. While it may not be comparable to Facebook, that’s fine. Twitter needs to focus on what it does best, which is get short, interesting pieces of information out quickly. Streaming NFL games is definitely interesting but I don’t think most people will want to watch 3 hour long football games on Twitter. I personally believe Twitter should continue to brand itself as a the go-to medium for celebrity to fan, company to consumer, etc platform that it does best.

  5. I enjoyed reading your take and analysis on Twitter as a business, rather than a social media platform. I, personally, have not put much thought into Twitter, but I do feel as though I have learned something about it. I have to say I agree with Professor Kane in that humility and a bit of a scale back would probably be the best line of action for Twitter. I think of Twitter as a step down from Facebook, because of it’s limitations in one’s ability to fully express themselves. It feels like a bit of a snapshot of who you are, so I don’t think it is reasonable to try and act as though Twitter is equivalent to Facebook. I must say, though, that it would also be a good idea to reconsider having Jack Dorsey run the business. If it didn’t work the first time, it probably won’t work again, especially if he is running another business. All in all, I really like your decision to analyze social media platforms from a business perspective while also adding your own suggestions/commentaries.

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