Jose Palomino

Rest In Peace, Twitter

November 8, 2016


Once one of the most-used social media websites on the planet, Twitter has been falling into an era of decline at an alarming rate. Millennials, the most active and up-to-date users of social media on the daily, are no longer using the app — they’ve moved on to newer and cooler apps like Snapchat, Yik-Yak, and Instagram.

The fact is that Twitter’s user base is not growing. No one out there is interested in purchasing the company, because it’s got approximately zero potential at this point. Their old clients — Millennials — are jumping ship, without any kids from Generations Z to replace them.

The investigation into the causes of this failure is bound to be fairly extensive, but there’s a quick explanation on the surface.

Cause of Death

Twitter’s entire model is a glib, instantaneous platform for free speech and communication. What made it so popular to begin with was that it allowed anyone and everyone to put out short bytes about their thoughts, experiences, and opinions — to share with the whole world.

The amount of censorship that Twitter has been doing lately is the nail in the coffin. In the beginning of October, Twitter’s stock dropped 29% — likely because of the amount of controversy the app is currently involved in. No company wants to put itself in the middle of rampant criticism — least of all giants like Apple, Microsoft, and Disney.

A certain degree of censorship is necessary in all social media. For instance, removing explicit images or videos, allowing users to block each other, and keeping inappropriate material away from younger users. It’s censorship of legitimate opinions that’s killing Twitter.

As a platform for speech and interaction, Twitter cannot afford to become a police state. Clearly — due to the lack of interest in acquiring the company, and devaluation in stock.

In response to the censorship controversies surrounding Twitter lately, a freer alternative has already appeared on the market, ready to compete with a very similar model — Gab.

Old Age

Twitter has been around for a while in app-years. Founded in 2006, the basic idea of Twitter hasn’t really changed much — 140 characters or less. Say what you want to say in those 140 characters – to whoever cares what you have to say (your “followers”).

They haven’t had to do much competing in their lifetime. They were almost immediately cooler than Facebook, cleaner and easier to use than Flickr, and (much) more fun than LinkedIn (which had a different focus, of course). What they have failed to do is adapt to changing market conditions.

Up against relative newcomers like Snapchat, Instagram, and Pinterest, Twitter has failed to come up with any new or innovative features to keep their users interested and invested. Plain and simple — people are bored with Twitter, and Twitter isn’t doing anything about it. If the censorship and controversy doesn’t kill it — old age will.

Bottom line:

Even a great idea doesn’t last forever. It’s important to stick to your core values, but you have to adapt your offering and your messaging strategy to keep your clients/users interested and invested.

  • What is the newest aspect of your offering or service? Is it time for some new ideas?
  • How does your business react to newer, fresher competitors?
  • Can you identify any other reasons Twitter’s value is going so steeply down?

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