I’m all for it! I think the company is getting beaten down by public markets based on a limited view of its overall business. Twitter successfully created a new paradigm for communication and information exchange. There are so many different ways that Twitter could be realigned for profitability and significant growth.
Yes, user growth and engagement is an issue. But, only when you consider that in terms of specific Twitter site activity. In the universe that exists outside of Twitter.com and its mobile apps, the company’s tweets, videos, and live streams can be seen far and wide. This audience can be further monetized through syndicated ad placements. The company has already begun doing this with partners like Flipboard and Yahoo.
I am an unabashed Twitter fan. On numerous occasions I have espoused the benefits of the platform in sharing content, discovering great articles, communicating with people who have shared interests, following real-time news, accessing snackable content…the list goes on and on. Advertising revenue is growing, but user growth is slowing. I think that with the right tweaks, innovations, and marketing, Twitter can garner the mainstream growth that its shareholders have so desperately yearned for.
In my opinion, this growth may not come directly from the Twitter app. I think there’s a good chance that Twitter’s long-term answer could come from its developer community. Twitter is a platform. Instead of adopting closed-network philosophies that more align with Facebook’s strategy, Twitter should embrace its position as the foundation for innovative news services, big data companies, messaging services, etc.
The problem with Twitter continues to be the overwhelming amount of content that flows through its network. The company has made some strides with its Moments feature. It should, however, be looked at as a tool that’s part of a larger set of innovations, as opposed to the sole answer to Twitter’s problems. Twitter continues to suffer from a marketing and perception problem.
The company has struggled to codify its message in a way that is digestible to a giant pool of potential mainstream users. For such potential users, the core Twitter service needs to be reimagined in a way that effectively separates the signal from the noise. Even though it would be a somewhat risky proposition, there’s nothing wrong with releasing a completely streamlined app and user experience targeting this group. It doesn’t even need to bear the Twitter name. It could be a unique experience all its own, “powered by Twitter.”
Such an experiment would allow the company to test different presentations of the Twitter stream, content types, and user engagement options. This is the reason why Facebook acquired Instagram and Whatsapp. The core Facebook experience isn’t the right fit for all users. Instead, Facebook is learning from its community by branching out into other areas while still maintaining a connection to its core social network principles.
Either way, Twitter’s place in the worlds of news and media isn’t going to change anytime soon. The company has built an incredibly strong foundation of power users, brands, media entities, celebrities and influencers. Twitter has a unique opportunity to leverage its existing strengths to exponentially grow its reach across a range of sectors. To do so, Twitter has to be willing to step away from its island and trust its users and partners to elevate the company.