Twitter is no longer the social media site it used to be. In fact, it isn’t a social platform at all. According to the App store, Twitter is now considered to be a news outlet. Twitter originally began as a medium for sharing real-time updates about current events with friends and family. It has additionally served as a way to build brand identity, monitor public feedback, and express personal opinions.
Recently, Twitter has struggled to grow an active audience as the amount of daily users continues to decline coupled with a loss in sales. In the last three months of 2015 alone, Twitter lost a total of 2 million users. Stock prices plummeted by 41% from October 2015 to April 2016. Twitter also has been dealing with management issues following the company’s loss of its CEO and four top executives, including the media chief, engineering head, product senior vice president, and human resources head.
What happened to Twitter? Competition.
Other social media platforms are simply performing better. Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat have all since developed features that incorporate Twitter’s concept of live updates into their apps, forcing Twitter into irrelevancy.
To increase its audience size, Twitter has worked on improving its product to make it more user-friendly by changing how the site operates. For example, tweets are now sorted by quality instead of recency. Twitter also added new features by decreasing what counts toward the 140-character limit to allow for longer tweets, replacing “favorites” with “likes” and incorporating live streaming from the other app Periscope into the main Twitter app.
When those updates failed to boost visibility, Twitter decided to reinvent itself in the App store by moving from a “Social Networking” app to a “News” app. A survey showed most people use Twitter only to find breaking news while they choose Facebook as their primary platform to communicate with friends and family. Since the switch, Twitter has become the #1 ranked app in the “News” category, before CNN and Reddit. As a “Social Networking” app, Twitter was ranked fifth behind Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp.
That being said, businesses need to realize Twitter is a dying medium. As more people delete their Twitter accounts, the potential customers on that platform also decrease. Businesses should be cognizant of who their target audience are and what social media platforms their customers are using, and in most cases, Twitter is not one of them.