The continued performance failure of $167million reported loss in last three months of 2016 and a stagnant 4% growth of total users at Twitter is part of an underlying structural problem and culture at the company inability to move beyond its early foundations of a simple microblog.
The use of Twitter by Trump for his political campaign is just a side show when it’s 319 million user base are simply not engaged enough in direct revenue generation for the company.
Perhaps it is Twitter unique position as a social media voice that is easy to use, after all it is just 140 characters right? But this is missing the point abut its role as a monetizable mediator to other industries and social groups that as yet seems to be an unfulfilled dream. Twitter management while investing is media streaming and niche changes to the website, have failed to grasp the opportunities that Facebook and LinkedIn have in monetizing their users by advertising or selling subscriptions for communities and lifestyles.
Like a rabbit caught in the headlights, Twitter seems to have some parallel with the historical myspace that perhaps does not what to “change the formula” for fear of losing its unique simple user experience. This is a founders dilemma faced by many organizations but for the shareholders and CEO Jack Dorsey time is running out. With these performance figures it will make Twitter an even more likely target for a takeover if this slide continues.
Yet past suitors seem to have looked and walk on as the complexities of a viable business model with the kind of stories and news that Twitter provides seems both compelling and repelling buyers so far. While it can be argued that Twitter does perform a kind of social public services albeit it often courts controversy with cyber bullying and bias what is its future role that can create a bigger market? Twitter remains an enigma in the internet as a voice and vice of causes. It seems an irony that the founders and stakeholder like Wikipedia annual plea for donations seem to offer something people want but are not prepared to pay for.
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