Thursday, August 18

As Investors Abandon Twitter, Will Marketers Do the Same?

Investor faith in Twitter just keeps slipping. Since the beginning of the year, the little bluebird’s stock prices have fallen more than 50%. As of today, stock values have slipped another 1%, leaving the company’s worth at $32 per share. That’s only $6 above what the company was originally valued at during its initial public offering in 2013.What’s the problem? Why is Twitter stuck in a free fall? It’s all about growth. At the end of Q1 2014, the company was estimated to have approximately 255 million users, well below Facebook’s 1.4 billion. Up until recently, the comparison between the two was neither fair nor relevant, as they were completely different services. However, as Twitter continues implementing changes that make it more like Facebook everyday and the difference between platforms is blurred, why wouldn’t both marketers and investors lose faith in a company that has clearly lost faith in itself?

Most “Changes” Are Just Adaptations of Other Services
The biggest problem for Twitter is that it’s been trying too hard to change its identity. From the implementation of a new photo sharing function that closely mimics Facebook to a new profile screen that closely mimics Facebook to a renewed marketing focus on sharing photos on the service as though it were Instagram, a company owned by Facebook, Twitter is having a crisis of self.

Flashback to March 2013: Forbes estimated that Twitter would see its revenues balloon to more than $1 billion in 2014. At the time, the prediction made sense. The social media platform was at the top of its game; the majority of the world was choosing Twitter as the best platform for absorbing news, and with a focus on the written word, jammed ever so lovingly into 140 characters, the company had a clearly defined identity. The reason the company can’t meet its growth goals, not to mention those its investors and marketing partners want to see, is because no one is sure why Twitter is a must use service anymore. By using Facebook or Tumblr, web users can do everything they can do on Twitter — arguably, they can do it better!

Can Diversifying with Music Help Twitter?
Apparently, the powers at be at Twitter believe that diversification, not honing their identity, is the key to finding the growth and success that marketers and investors are looking for. Word is leaking today that the company is considering the acquisition of SoundCloud, a popular music and audio sharing service that functions much like an audio-based YouTube. While this may simply be industry rumor, it points to Twitter’s continued need to try and be something it’s not, and that is what’s driving users, investors, and marketers away from the platform in droves. The company needs to focus on building a better social media platform as it sees it, not how the rules set by Facebook and others say it has to be. Continuing to dilute the things that made the platform great to begin with is not the way to do that.

“Some change is inevitable, whether that be stock prices, or internet marketing trends” says Marcy Moore, VP of Sales at MorePro Marketing. “Fluctuations are unavoidable within volatile market profiles.”

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