With Twitter reporting a net loss of $90 for the last three months of 2015, in addition to their active user base declining from 307 million monthly to 305 million, it comes as no surprise that the future of Twitter has come into question.
In a bid to save itself and enhance their PR, it seems Twitter is beginning to follow the Facebook template – continually modifying services to monetise existing users. First announcing the 10,000 character limit and now updates such as video ads and top tweets at the start of timelines, all designed to make users more engaged with the platform while also appealing to advertisers. With the recent worldwide trending of the hashtag #RIPTwitter however, it’s safe to say these updates have not been warmly received.
The latest blow to Twitter’s PR saw Stephen Fry deleting his account last week and announcing on his website that he was “free at last” from the site, a platform he referred to as “a stalking ground for the sanctimoniously self-righteous who loves to second-guess, to leap to conclusions and be offended.”
Although under much criticism, the impact Twitter has had is undeniable, as blogger Jeff Goins describes, Twitter is “The cheapest way to send an instant message, easiest mode of finding breaking news relevant to you and the most effortless way to meet a celebrity.”
More importantly, it has the ability to transmit information quickly and effectively and it was only recently that the social media campaign #Match4Lara saw a cancer patient find a rare mixed-race donor. The campaign gained global attention, including receiving support from Stephen Fry and JK Rowling, which led to a sharp rise in the number of people signing up as donors. Proof that social value is not the same thing as profit.
So as months go on, it will be interesting to see the path Twitter chooses to take. Will it continue to push away its users eventually leading to an abandoned site? Or will it be able to turn things around while continuing to evolve.