15 Entrepreneurs Discuss Whether or Not Twitter Is Dying
Twitter has had its shares of ups and downs over the last few years. Every introduction of new social media platforms chip away at current banner holders like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Over the course of the last couple years co-founder Jack Dorsey was reinstated as CEO due to decline, the constant buzz about doing away with 140 has caused uproar on both sides, and every week a headline concerning stolen information is splashed across every news site. For business owners and entrepreneurs heavily using Twitter to interact with potential and current clients the question boils down to this – is Twitter beginning the slow march towards irrelevancy in the digital space?
#1 – Set the Record Straight
I've been hearing a lot of talk about the decline of Twitter lately, and I'd like to take a moment to set the record straight. A number of people I know and respect have been complaining about their lack of engagement on Twitter. They're putting out great content, but no one is paying attention, and no one is engaging. Why? First, let's be clear: Twitter *does* have a firehose problem. Because they failed to develop something like Facebook's News Feed algorithm, everyone's feed is a cluttered mess. (They're working on this.) But that's not the only reason you're not getting the results you're looking for. Every time I hear someone complain about a lack of engagement on Twitter, I took a look at their account and quickly spot the problem: *they're not engaging with anyone else.* Everyone mistakenly thinks of Twitter as a distribution channel for witty snark and links to off-site content. *Your tweets may be pure gold, but you haven't given people a reason to care.* Why would I waste my time engaging with your tweets when you clearly wouldn't do the same with mine? For me, Twitter is still the #1 social network because it is (or can be) *truly social*. On Facebook, I'm limited to my already-established circle of friends and family. But everything is fair game on Twitter: I can jump in and out of all sorts of conversations with people I've never met—without being creepy! I've come to know some of my (now) closest friends and business contacts this way.
Thanks to Rohan Semwal, SEO Spouse
#2 – #RipTwitter
#RIPTwitter – says it all really. From upsets over algorithm changes to trouble with trolls; Twitter has had quite a few problems recently. The struggle is real and the recently added ‘Moment’ feature is a good example of the type of mediocre changes Twitter has been making to try and keep up with fast-moving competitors. Is it too late for Twitter to make a come-back? I think so. With the likes of Instagram and Snapchat leading the way for Gen Y’s communication, Twitter will need a decent new addition up their sleeves to entice new users away from their Clarendon filters.
Thanks to Zoe Blogg, ICS-digital
#3 – An Evolution
No, I don't think Twitter is starting to die, but I do think it's evolving and maturing. Like people, when that happens, a lot of old relationships change and wither, but that doesn't mean that YOU'RE withering, and neither is Twitter! Back when Twitter started out, it was one of the few alternatives to Facebook, and people started accounts because it was there, and it was cool. It's no longer as attractive to people as a personal chat forum (Instagram and Snapchat are much more fun). Add that to the fact that increased growth makes it really hard to use the Twitter timeline in any useful way, and there's definitely been an exodus of personal accounts, and the companies for whom those people are customers. What's left, however, is a thriving ecosystem of B2B resources, professional discussions, and community noticeboards, and information and interaction that's best accessed through Twitter chats, lists and hashtags. I won't be retiring my account anytime soon – as a content strategist, it's just too useful!
Thanks to Niamh Lynch
#4 – Lost in the White Noise
Twitter is dying. Headed to the mass wasteland where MySpace, Xanga, and AOL Profiles rapidly decay, Twitter is simply white noise. The 140 character limit was once charming, as people exercised poetic muscles, but it's become a statute of limitation, yet another oppressor of extended voice. For businesses, it's a challenge to post enough to be heard and noticed, not to get lost in the automatic feeds of Twitter-bots, yet not to over-post so to create temptation for customers to click unfollow. Awkwardly structured, people can try to reply, but there is no true feed, whereas Instagram and Facebook allow an easy-to-follow dialogue. Twitter is dying because its main purpose – to write little but often – is just another echo of meaninglessness. It encourages people to create thoughtless posts just to be sure to post. In a world driven by digital voice, the need for limitless expression to ensure tone and connotation are correctly relayed is the future.
Thanks to Kristen Fusaro-Pizzo, Bath, Body, and Candle Moments
#5 – Greatly Exaggerated
The reports of Twitter's impending death are greatly exaggerated. Twitter is evolving to become a more mainstream channel. It's no longer the darling of early adopters, as many of those super users have moved on to explore new channels. Mainstream users will continue to experiment with Twitter and then late adopters will follow. I'm seeing schools in my area join Twitter, which pulls more students and parents into the channel. Brands and companies that use Twitter will continue to evolve to adapt to new user types. Twitter may no longer be the darling of the tech world and the early adopters, but there's evidence to suggest that they're not going to die anytime soon. Brands should research Twitter and other social channels carefully and plan a smart content strategy plan for customer engagement.
Thanks to Buddy Scalera
#6 – Tweeps Keep Up
Twitter isn't dying but it is evolving, and tweeps just have to keep up with those changes in order to keep Twitter the fantastic business tool it is. When I joined Twitter 9 years ago, I could keep up with everyone I followed. But I had only 75 followers. That's impossible today when I follow more than 3,000. But today's goal is not to personally connect with all 3,000. It's to have a base I can go to, and connect with different ones on different levels. (Tweetdeck really helps with that.) Nine years ago I said, Facebook helps you connect with people you already know. Twitter helps you connect with those you don't know–but should. That hasn't changed, but how it happens has.
Thanks to Diana Scimone, Peapod Publishing, Inc.
#7 – Shelf-Life
It's not necessarily a case of whether Twitter is dying – I personally believe it will have a ongoing shelf-life as a social networking tool – but if brands aren't receiving the kind of engagement they need from the platform, Twitter is going to lose their revenue stream. Aside from those brands that can't seem to figure out how to engage in popular social discussion and thus fail horribly at it, other brands are quietly sharing news and promoting themselves through either paid or organic means with little success. Our company, as one example, uses Twitter quite regularly in the latter way. We're a SMB in a very niche market, but still we have less than 2,000 followers with limited engagement on our Tweets. Twitter, for us, is like shouting in an empty room. It's not a channel we actively focus on, and although we have dabbled in promoted Tweets, the ‘impressions' we captured failed to materialize any results. We're not the only company seeing these results, and spending our time and money on other more worthwhile initiatives. Twitter is dying an extremely slow death.
Thanks to Jessica Thiele, Virtual Logistics Inc.
#8 – Overblown Reports
So, I've read about the supposed death of Twitter on a few places. Usually those reports talk about it's falling stock price, or even its relative lack of growth in new users. Or really, the fact that it isn't the trendiest social network any longer. I think any reports of Twitter's demise are greatly overblown. It's still the best social network to chat about current events, with people you don't know already. From playoff basketball to politics, it's an entertaining network. Do they have some issues to work out in terms of how to grow their revenue base? Sure, but that's been true about TONS of tech companies in the past and at some point someone will figure it out-most of those criticisms were levied at Facebook not long ago, only to be proven largely inaccurate.
Thanks to Mark Aselstine, Uncorked Ventures
#9 – Different Views
Depends on who you ask. Investors are frustrated by Twitter's inability to monetize to their expectations. Marketers are frustrated by the lack of organic and advertising engagement. But, for many Twitter users, Twitter remains a vibrant place to connect and communicate. Despite this, Twitter has two huge problems: it's overrun by bots creating unnecessary noise and the lack of great content and/or engagement. The Twitter community bears the responsibility for the content/engagement problem. There is great content on Twitter, you have to find the content and the noise problem, for which Twitter is responsible, makes that a challenge. There are still plenty of opportunities on Twitter, but you actually have to USE Twitter, participate, communicate and commit. Develop content FOR Twitter, not just sharing content from other platforms to Twitter. Marketers who drop and run in Twitter are missing the point – but those who invest find it can be a great place.
Thanks to Tara Coomans, Poodle Mafia
#10 – Dying for Business
I don't think Twitter itself is dying but I think its use for business is dying a slow death. Twitter is, by design, a minimalist platform and as
that increasingly intersects with Big Data, each tweet is increasingly optimized, each picture more eye-catching, each link shortened further to its current point where separating out value is increasingly difficult. It's like being in an crowded Bazzar where all the merchants are hawking the sames wares and each is armed with a near-identical sales pitch; it's mostly noise and I think business-people are now turning more to LinkedIn to help separate out valuable information from the barrage of 5 Ways To Whatever Better.
Thanks to Mike Catania, PromotionCode.org
#11 – Not at All
I don't think Twitter is dying at all. News consistently breaks there, every news outlet has a feed on the bottom of their broadcast and they regularly embed tweets in their stories. The platform connects groups of people with real-time updates during times of crisis. And, it is one of the only places where individuals with little to no social influence have the opportunity to interact people at the top of their respective industries. The value to users is certainly there and hard to argue with. Now it's simply a matter of Twitter figuring out how to make things work financially without detracting from that value.
Thanks to Nick Brennan, Watch Social Media
#12 – On a Decline
I think Twitter is on the decline and heading in a direction of a dead end. As a millennial who works in marketing, I never really jumped full on with the bandwagon that is Twitter until I had to for work. It's something that was new and exciting when it came out for the potential of having conversations, but that is also the trouble, there are so many conversations happening simultaneously that it's hard to even stay in them. Users are the ones that made Twitter what it is, they found workarounds to limiting the noise and focusing it on specific topics, and this has some benefits, but Twitter as a whole is still overly crowded with people seemingly yelling their message and then having it disappear within a few seconds. The one thing that is somewhat useful to me and my marketing needs is the advertising platform they have created. I like it more than Facebook just because it lets me focus on at least one specific topic (hash tags) in addition to getting demographic filters. Admittedly, I haven't seen any crazy successes with it, even with super fine-tuning my ads. Twitter keeps getting small bouts of resurrection, but so far it looks like they are in a downward spiral, plagued by robots making more and more noise in an already crowded sphere of communication.
Thanks to Nenad Cuk, ThoughtLab
#13 – In Trouble
Twitter won't die out, but they do know they're in trouble. That's why they're coming out with updates to hopefully get more users engaged. Not including a person's username in the 140-character limit and not needing to put a ‘.' before the ‘@' will hopefully convince users to keep using the site, and entice non-twitter users to hop on board. With just these changes, Twitter will become simpler to use. It's a great place for people and brands to have quick conversations- if Twitter sticks to aiding its users with that in mind, it won't die out.
Thanks to Kelsey Goeres, MyCorporation.com
#14 – More Selective
No, Twitter isn't dying. Twitter is just becoming more selective. Fewer people than before may be using the platform but the ones that are using it, do it for a different reason. It isn't about sharing what you're doing or eating anymore. Nowadays Twitter is either an extension of a brand's customer service or a place where people discuss important matters or live events. It isn't about broadcasting a message, but more about a 1-to-1 or 1-to-several discussion in a public place. Twitter is the easiest and fastest way to complain about a delivery gone wrong or asking about the specs of a specific product. You can do that on the go. No need to call customer service and go through an annoying automated menu. It's fast and easy. Therefore monitoring & collaboration platforms like OBI4wan and Hootsuite are growing so fast. They connect tweeting customers with the right department, so answering a question or taking care of a complaint is done as fast as possible. No long wait times. Easy as.
Thanks to Martijn Bier, Craving Creativity
#15 – It's Aging
Twitter shareholders are panicking as TWTR stock has fallen 65% since their IPO in November 2013. Quantitative data shows us the number of monthly active users has plateaued at roughly 300 million* and the amount of new subscribers has declined. Snapchat, Vine and Instagram have all worked to decrease Twitter’s market share. Yet Twitter has become more integral in our daily lives. Countless sporting events, television shows, radio broadcasts and commercials will place a # or @ reference. If media marketing conglomerates have taught us anything, it’s that they are ahead of the curve. Twitter did well to incorporate polls into their platform. The next step is to incorporate native enterprise solutions into their product e.g. pay on twitter plugins or widgets. This is a large part of why Facebook is still relevant today. Twitter has acquired a synonymous status with businesses, i.e. you’re not legitimate unless you have an active Twitter account. That said, Twitter is a large part of Museum Hack's customer engagement.Twitter is the OG on the block, snap and vine are still infants. Twitter isn’t dying but it is aging.
Thanks to Nick Gray, Museum Hack