There has been a lot of talk about this micro-blogging platform lately: however, people have been speculating about the future of Twitter for a long time now. Ever since the first tweet was sent (and that was in 2006 – by its founder), and especially since Twitter announced its initial public offering and debut on the New York Stock Exchange, this company has been constantly evolving, and as such the subject of much speculation.
Every quarter, Twitter is adding millions of new users and constantly growing its user base. It is not only celebrities sending tweets to their fans: many public figures are on Twitter. Even Pope tweets! Twitter’s founder once said that their ambition is to reach every person on the planet, and – while that may be a lofty goal – there is certainly still a lot of space for future growth for Twitter. Earnings are following the user base growth as well. So, what could go wrong for this social network?
Some people believe that Twitter is going to be crushed by its constant rival, Facebook. How’s that? While there has never been a larger pool of people using the service, they seem to be getting less and less active. The median tweeter has only one follower, which tells us volumes about the number of spam accounts on this micro-blogging platform! Others believe that the service is too complicated for newcomers, so they get discouraged, and soon – leave.
What about the power users and early adopters? They are generally not satisfied with low signal to noise ration on Twitter. Hashtags are often being misused. The number of users who actually log into their Twitter account each month and view timelines is not as large as one would expect from a social network of the reputation that Twitter currently has.
Those who do not believe in the decline of Twitter are claiming that Twitter is not really a social network – it is, rather, a social platform. It is, therefore, wrong to compare it to Facebook. Even those of us who never had a Twitter account are a part of an audience for tweets – whether we like it or not. That indirect audience is a unique Twitter’s strength: the company is now trying to monetize it by reaching people outside Twitter via third-party mobile ads. That is similar to YouTube: you don’t need to have an account there to be part of the experience. Instead of competing with Facebook, Twitter may be on its way of becoming more like YouTube.