Year in review: is Twitter one tweet away from failure?
There was a time in the mid-noughties when the popularity of social media channels was uncertain.
Myspace was riding high for years before everyone, seemingly overnight, got bored.
Bebo accounts were huge amongst teenagers until a near-instant exodus to the cleaner UI of Facebook.
In 2017, social media channels seem more stable – but don’t be fooled.
There’s every chance that Twitter is next on the stock market’s sh*t list.
Changes for the worse
Throughout the year, one of the world’s best known social feeds has been causing controversy amongst its users for a number of changes that haven’t gone down well.
The largest of these was the character count, which has always been Twitter’s unique selling point.
Originally at a pithy 140 characters, Twitter has expanded it to 280 characters – and people weren’t happy.
Here are just a few gnarked customers:
The big question asked by users was simple – why destroy Twitter’s USP?
Problems for SME’s
More recently, Twitter has looked to simplify its advertising features with a “self-serve” tool, essentially automating the service for a flat fee of $99 a month.
Here at Attercopia Towers, we don’t see the value of this service. Any Social Media Manager worth their salt will tell you that expert targeting and well-crafted copy lies at the heart of any social campaign, and that’s a commodity that can’t be fully automated.
In the long run, SMEs who leave the heavy lifting to Twitter will receive very little in return.
Profit over point
Again, that question is rearing its ugly head – why is Twitter doing this?
The answer is the same as it’s ever been – profits and a need to diversify its platform.
Profits for Twitter have been in flux for a few years, with a four per cent slump in Q4 2017, and dwindling advertising revenues have played a large part in that decline.
The reason for this? Twitter’s original idea was so effective.
Facebook had to work hard to get its UI up to scratch, so major changes were part of its modus operandi from the get-go.
Instagram underwent a number of huge changes before the look we all know and love was settled upon.
But Twitter’s unique selling point of 140 character tweets was so pure in its simplicity that every change made to the site has felt like a dilution.
It’s a problem that’s left Twitter in a bind.
Without change and expansion, stock markets will look at them as faltering.
With change and expansion, fans of the service might begin leaving in droves.
Despite setbacks and controversies, the social networking site is still sitting pretty with 330 million existing users, and it remains the number one spot for the most powerful man in the world to air his views.
There’s still plenty of time left for Twitter to regain its credibility. Here’s what we’d do, for starters:
- Change the layout – the Twitter layout is looking a little rough around the edges with the new 280 character limit. Comments look too bulky. We’d freshen it up to accommodate the new system.
- Fix that verification process – Twitter was recently in hot water for giving the famous blue tick to right wing extremist Jason Kessler. We’d think a major PR overhaul was needed to fix this SNAFU.
- Complement existing features – instead of adding new features, Twitter has to complement its unique platform. If it doesn’t, it risks diluting its USP further.
If Twitter wants any more PR advice from us, they can call 01484 44 33 22 – and so can you.
For more Christmas content & the chance to win some prizes take a look at our 2017 Advent Calendar.