Twitter and Its Impending Future

Twitter's Future
I have a confession. I hate Twitter. I really do…well I did until this past Saturday.

My Love and Hate Relationship with Twitter

Now you’re probably wondering why I hate Twitter. How can someone who has 26K tweets hate the social media platform that he’s spent so much time on?

It’s because it’s turned into a garbage pile of people shouting and I’m to blame as much as everyone else. It was a great platform when I joined in November of 2009. It was great for talking to fellow marketing professionals such as Alissa Menke, Phil Buckley and Neal Isaacs but what turned into an awesome dialogue between people has gotten messey over the past few years.

What happened?

  1. We all started talking over each other. Yes, I’m too blame for this as much as anyone else but we all started trying to be louder than each other with automated services such as Buffer and Hootsuite.
  2. Other Platforms Stole Our Attention. While Twitter was cool in 2009-2012, we now have SnapChat and Instagram to engage other people with.

How Twitter Will Survive?

Twitter’s current status overall is in question not just from me but from everyone else even WallStreet. I’m not sure how Twitter is going to survive, but it’s quickly dying and something needs to be done. It’s marked by myself and others as a platform that will soon be bought because of its data and userbase but it won’t survive much longer under by itself.

It still has some strengths which I was reminded of this past Saturday though.  It’s still the number one source for Live Data. When there was a shooting this past week in my local town of  Raleigh, NC everyone turned to Twitter for the news. Local twitter accounts such as @NewRaleigh and @indyWeek kept everyone up to date of what was going on and quickly made the incident a trending topic. (You can read tweets about the incident here, here, and here.)

Venture Capitalist Jason Calacanis published his own version of what Twitter should do, when he wrote a piece that said all Twitter accounts should be verified. While, I think that might help the abuse on Twitter, I don’t know if it will help increase the user base at all.

Probably the biggest issue is that Twitter itself still doesn’t understand what it is. It’s not a social network but instead a live micro-blogging platofrm. To do so, I believe it should focus on the following 3 factors ->

Here’s 3 things that Twitter needs to do, in my opinion right away:

  • Keep the Feed the Way It Is. While you were away, should go away and Twitter should continue to evolve as a live marketing tool. By creating partnerships around “live” events (sports, anyone?) Twitter can go after people who want to know things NOW instead of LATER.
  • Keep the Character limit. Twitter’s a micro-blogging service and its what’s helped it evolve over the years. The fact that the posts have to be short helped it be consumed by a wider audience. Also by having a character limit it helps prevent it from turning into a Tumblr or Facebook.
  • Merge Vine and Persicope Into the Core Product. Video is here to stay and taking cues from both Facebook and Snapchat, Twitter needs to create more video opportunities within itself and eliminate these video products altogether by merging them into the core Twitter product.

By following these three services, Twitter has an opportunity to stay as a service altogether or at least I hope it does. It was once a great service and I hate to see it go away.