Could Twitter die?
Twitter is on the downslide. Fewer and fewer of us are tweeting (I haven’t written a tweet from my personal account in about 4 months), and this is causing a mini crisis at the company which was once Silicon Valley’s hottest start-up.
The fall of Twitter isn’t proven by a lack of tweets, however. In the past year, Twitter have ditched plans for a new office and laid off plenty of jobs.
For the first time since its meteoric rise in 2006, their user base declined – from 307 million to 305 million in the final 3 months of 2015. That’s the equivalent of about 32,000 people deleting their Twitter account every single day.
Entrepreneur and Twitter investor, Gary Vaynerchuk, said: “If Twitter doesn’t go to [emulate] Facebook’s News Feed and stop showing you everything, Twitter will die,”, “Twitter will die in the same way that email open rates went from 80 percent in 1997 to 20 percent - because noise is noise”. One student in Chicago even said Twitter makes him “feel regret” – not exactly the target emotion.
What are Twitter doing about it?
Ditching a new office and laying off jobs are two parts of a big overhaul. The social media giants have appointed Jack Dorsey as CEO. But there’s a twist - Dorsey is also CEO of mobile payments company Square.
When announcing their earnings had worryingly decreased, Twitter said: “We are going to fix the broken windows and confusing parts”. Maybe this will include the “noise”.
To make Twitter more “free”, many calls have been made to remove the 140 character limit. But would this make Twitter too much like Facebook’s unentertaining news feed? In early 2016, they did take a step in the right direction by introducing a customer feedback tool for businesses, which has so far proven to be successful.
But will it actually ever die?
Personally, I don’t think so. Twitter is massive. Twitter handles are everywhere, and putting a hashtag before a word or sequence of words is now basically ingrained into the common vocabulary. When there’s big news, no matter where you are in the world, people are still using hashtags to listen to and voice opinions. It’s a stream of instant news and is another opportunity for businesses to establish their brand online. It’s a marketplace, of sorts – I recently sold a gig ticket using Twitter (that saved me losing £55!). And let’s not forget the entertainment we still get from actors, comedians, and at times sporting people, all thanks to their ridiculous Tweets (see our list of The most entertaining people to follow on Twitter).
But there’s no doubt that, just like Facebook, Instagram and others, Twitter need to change their tone. They need to make Twitter enjoyable and addictive again. Does this mean you should delete your own account and your businesses Twitter account? No. What’s the point? There are still 100s of millions of people on Twitter. There’s still lots going on.