What is rather certain is that in 9 years of life, Twitter is facing its worst moment now. It is an abnormal crisis, as for many digital companies, and couldn’t have been predicted from the third quarter forecasted proceeds, estimated between 545 and 560 million dollars, with an EBITDA of 110-115 millions. It is an even more abnormal crisis if we look at its 500 million certified users. Nonetheless, something important is happening.
- The first well-known problem is the “parked users” phenomenon, meaning those Users that don’t really interact and don’t really write a lot (sometimes even nothing).
- The second problem regards the growth index: Twitter keeps growing but very slowly if compared to its competitors like Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.
- Third problem: advertising is not going as hoped. Although it is a very respectable platform and the access costs are not high at all, profits are not increasing.
Three critical points that unveiled a crisis confirmed by the appointing of a new CEO (Dorsey took over as acting lead figure in July) and by the new reduction plan to reduce employees, that will cut the 8% of the whole workforce, especially with regards to technical resources.
Twitter is going towards the dark social
What is hiding behind data and behaviour generated by those tweets? Has Twitter lost its appeal? Is it no longer liked?? Is it useless?
The matter is not as easy as it seems, and it’s linked to the method of use requested by its UI.
All twitter users are used to being overinformed and bombed with hashtags and links…a flow that is impossible to follow. At this point, something clicks in the average user (a target able to boost statistics) and they start to use a kind of automatic filter that pushes users to a less interactive use of the social. Basically: you tweet and retweet more often than you interact or talk with other users.
A kind of interaction that looks very much like a “Dark Social” and not like a typical social media. Dark social is that phenomenon that tends to generate direct traffic from url, bypassing user reputation and authority. A traffic generated through mails, direct links, other sharing methods apart from social medias. This underlines Twitter’s specificity compared to other socials, but it also underlines the need for a change that can make interaction and a much more filtered homepage easier.
Moments, the feature to bring tweets back to life
With Moments, for now available just in the US, Twitter is trying to go back to where it was in a more radical way than it appears. Madhu Muthukumar Product Manager of Moments asserted: “We know finding these only-on-Twitter moments can be a challenge, especially if you haven’t followed certain accounts. But it doesn’t have to be”.
But what is moments? A new tab that doesn’t focus on tweet contemporaneity and contents are not being shown based on the usual algorithm. The logic is new for Twitter, because what is shown is fundamentally storytelling. Stories are grouped by topic and interests such as: sports, entertainment, music..etc and they can be older than flash news. New editorial contents filtered by Twitter’s team that will collaborate with partners as: The New York Times, Major League Baseball and Vogue. Not just tweets but animated gifs, videos and photos.
The intention of Twitter is to excite, involve and unleash the user from contemporaneity and bombing, The idea is very interesting and the base is that interaction, share, and excitement will come from storytelling, not just from an aseptic tweet. But will this be enough? Hard to say, surely we’ll have to waits months to test and then see.
It’s very interesting to notice that while Twitter is always trying to re-invent itself, Facebook keeps transforming itself into a cannibal. With the launch of Facebook News, i.e., they are focusing on contemporaneity and making it possible for posts to be in real-time, basically the exact contrary of Moments. But why does Facebook works and Twitter doesn’t?
The reason is the business model. Facebook has been able to impose itself as a generalist social media, creating a container that lives thanks to its multiple available services (chat, news, post, information, exchange) and the more it raises its complexity, the more the need of the user to live in a micro-world is satisfied. On the contrary, Twitter is a social that is very basic and simple: few clear and winning features for maximum personalization.
I'm characterized by a great curiosity, that drives me to achieve important goals and new challenges. I'm a web and digital marketer mainly focused on digital strategy and social advertising with design, programming and digital analyst skills.