Connect with us

SOCIAL

Twitter has long been more talk than money

Published

on

Twitter has accepted a $44 billion bid from Elon Musk to acquire the company


Twitter has accepted a $44 billion bid from Elon Musk to acquire the company – Copyright GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP SCOTT OLSON

Thomas URBAIN, Juliette MICHEL

Billionaire Elon Musk is capturing a social media prize with his deal to buy Twitter, which has become a global stage for companies, activists, celebrities, politicians and more.

Despite its reach and impact, the San Francisco-based one-to-many messaging platform has struggled to generate the kind of revenue seen by social media peers such as Facebook and TikTok.

Since its founding in March of 2006, Twitter has amassed 217 million daily active users, more than 80 percent of them outside the United States.

Twitter did not taste profit until the end of 2017, and the following year was its first to finish financially in the black.

Twitter reported a loss of $221 million last year.

Advertisement

While often associated with the giant Silicon Valley social media platforms, to the extent that co-founder and then-chief Jack Dorsey has been grilled by US legislators, it is vastly eclipsed by its peers when it comes to profit and share value.

A challenge that has vexed Twitter since its inception is how to weave in ads or other money-making tactics into the real-time flow of posts by users without ruining the experience people love on the platform.

The fleeting nature of tweets has meant that marketing messages in posts may not spend much time in the spotlight for Twitter users to see.

An added challenge is how to make sure ads, sometimes in the form of tweets promoted to the tops of feeds, do not wind up next to vitriol, misinformation or other troubling content that brands do not want to be associated with.

However, politicians, institutions and marketers have learned how to turn Twitter to their advantage with clever or controversial posts that get shared as “retweets.” But while these can spark viral online conversations, they do not necessarily result in Twitter directly making money from them.

– Town square? –

Some have opined that Twitter, while hard to squeeze money out of, has become an internet version of the “town square,” and is so important that it should almost be considered a public utility and come with free speech protections.

Twitter was the preferred method of communication during former US President Donald Trump’s four years in office, as opposed to press briefings at which he would face questions from reporters.

Advertisement

Investors had essentially steered clear of Twitter stock, which prior to Musk’s uninvited takeover bid launched three weeks ago was worth 12 percent less than it was priced when the company’s shares first went public more than eight years ago.

Twitter last year introduced a “Blue” subscription tier offering exclusive content and features, and Musk has made it clear he is a fan of such models at the platform.

There is a risk though, that if Musk follows through on his vow to let people say pretty much anything they want on Twitter, moderate users will not want to pay subscriptions to be in a platform turned hostile, said Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Susannah Streeter.

– Money over mindfulness? –

Musk taking Twitter private will provide more room to maneuver, but will not guarantee success, according to analysts.

As a private company, Twitter will be free to make changes that might irk shareholders or take longer than they like to pay off.

Musk and his partners buying Twitter will be able to focus more intently on the financial side of the business, and not fret over issues such as diversity that might be important to shareholders at a public firm.

And despite talk of making the software running Twitter more transparent, the business side would have to disclose less to the public as a private operation.

Advertisement

Musk will be able to shrug off concerns about the environment, diversity or political correctness and decide “to hell with it”, running Twitter the way he thinks is best, William Lee of the Milken Institute told AFP.



Source link

SOCIAL

Twitter Tests New Tweet View Count Display to Better Highlight Content Reach

Published

on

Elon Musk Launches Hostile Takeover Bid for Twitter

Not entirely sure about this.

Today, Twitter has launched a public test of a new ‘Views’ count on some users’ tweets, which displays the total number of times that each of your tweets was seen in the app.

As you can see in this example, posted by @chimponsey, in the expanded tweet activity display, some users are now also seeing a ‘Views’ listing, alongside ‘Retweets’ and ‘Likes’.

The count is also indicated by an eye icon in the main tweet stream.

Tweet view count

So, cool, right? Now, instead of thinking that people are seeing your tweets and not engaging with them, you’ll know for sure, which should do wonders for your self-esteem.

Technically, the feature doesn’t add anything new, in that you can already view your tweet impression count in the full tweet analytics display (accessible via the graph icon on your tweets).

Twitter impression data

‘Views’ and ‘Impressions’, of course, are not the exact same thing, but as confirmed by Twitter, this is the data that people seeing.

So why put it in the general info display, and confront people with that figure?

At a guess, I would assume that this is part of Twitter’s ongoing effort to demonstrate that it’s more popular and influential than its general usage numbers may suggest.

Advertisement

Twitter, for example, currently has 238 million monetizable daily active users, which puts it well behind Facebook (1.9b), Snapchat (347m) – basically, every other big social app has more users than Twitter, which has struggled to grow its audience over time.

But according to Twitter, this doesn’t tell the whole story, as many people are consuming tweet content regularly, despite not logging into the app. At one stage, Twitter pegged its ‘logged out’ monthly user count at 500 million, more than double its actual usage figure.

Twitter logged out users chart

That’s a significant story for Twitter to tell, because it points to the broader influence of the app, which could make it a more valuable consideration for brands, thought leaders, creators, etc.

Maybe, by making tweet view counts more present, that will help to reiterate this – because maybe, even though your tweet only got 10 likes, 10,000 people actually saw it.

I mean, that still doesn’t seem like hugely helpful data to have from a self- confidence perspective. But maybe, by knowing that you are actually reaching a lot more people than the Like and retweet figures suggest, that will help you revise and refine your tweet approach to improve engagement and response.

Some users have also reported seeing profile view counts in the app as well, which falls into the same category, with profile view data also already available in your tweet analytics.

Maybe, by making these insights more front of mind, that could have a positive effect – or the negatives of such are minimal enough to justify a full test either way.

I guess, what Twitter really needs to know now is whether having this data more immediately available then reduces people’s propensity to tweet. If you’re seeing that a lot more people are viewing your tweets than you’d thought, because your other engagement stats are low, that could make you feel like you’re not great at tweeting, and see you share less as a result.

If that happens, Twitter will no doubt switch it back – but it could also, as noted, give users more context as to the true reach potential of the app.

Advertisement

Twitter has confirmed that the new view count display is currently being tested with a small group of users.



Source link

Continue Reading

DON'T MISS ANY IMPORTANT NEWS!
Subscribe To our Newsletter
We promise not to spam you. Unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address

Trending

en_USEnglish