Five years ago Biz Stone and Evan Williams were media darlings and Twitter was still a rising social network whose prominence was equal to Facebook’s and whose future domination seemed certain. Fast forward five years and now we see Twitter fighting for its market share and for its future spot among the competitive social landscape. The exact things that made twitter so special and such a unique platform are in danger at present. While Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and others have grown market share and relevancy, Twitter has stagnated.
Trolls & Goblins As Opposed to Real Human Interactions
While nearly all social networks moved to much more stringent measures to reduce spam accounts, Twitter has yet to do so. This leaves the social network vulnerable to spam attacks on hashtags and anonymous trolling. This may not seem like a big deal but it junks up peoples feeds and can unjustly discredit, bully, marginalize and demeans people and companies. Many people and companies have stopped engaging on Twitter and even deactivated their accounts for this reason.
Behind The Curve on Engineering & Ads
While Facebook has moved light years ahead with their mobile ad and psychographic targeting allowing advertisers to pinpoint their ad messaging Twitters platform remains limited. Talking to industry experts, one is left with the impression that Twitter’s engineering team doesn’t have the manpower or experience to properly upgrade and enhance the platform. New updates and features are added but they never gain true user adoption because of their limited build and capability.
Losing Focus of What Made Them Great
The remarkable thing about Twitter is how people are using it as a micro blogging and news-breaking platform. Its 140 character limit forced people to be concise and impactful. This year Twitter announced that it would allow more than 140 character posts for the first time. This goes against its core differentiating value and what appealed to users in the first place. Twitter, after all, is where the hashtag was born from the arcane pound sign.
Why There is Still Hope For Twitter
Despite its mis-directions and lack of true innovation, Twitter still remains one of the top 10 most visited websites of the Internet. While the New Yorker, the Atlantic and others have signaled its decline and decay, it has yet to become irrelevant and it still holds true value for many users globally. If the executive team can restrict the trolling and spam users, improve the engineering team, and get back to the core ethos of what made it special, the bright blue Twitter bird may soar again!