It is amazing!! Twitter, which one of the most popular social media platforms, has been losing its sheen at an alarming pace! As a matter of fact, the number of active members on Twitter has declined over the last few months. . In the end of 2015, Twitter had 305 million active users against 1.6 billion active Facebook users, and 1 billion active Google users.
In September 2015, even Instagram witnessed a bee-line of 400 million users. Twitter’s stocks have suffered a plunge as a consequence of its performance. Also, heads have rolled including replacement of CEO – Dick Costolo by Jack Dorsey. So, what’s gone amiss with Twitter?
We have tried to investigate, and analyze a few reasons for Twitter losing its market share and engagement:
- High Attrition of Customers: Unlike the other social media tools, Twitter offers a niche product for its users to share, collaborate and market their offerings. However, as a product, it has not been at par with its counterparts in terms of product engagement of users.The primary reason for this could be attributed to the high turnover of active users of this platform. During the last 3 months in 2015, Twitter lost about 2 million customers. As a result, 1% reduction in overall number of customers was experienced by Twitter – a drop from 307 million customers during third quarter of 2015 to 305 million during fourth quarter.
- Low Quality of Interaction: The nature of interaction in Twitter, particularly the use of abusive language has something to do with the flights of the users from the platform. While Twitter has setup a platform which allows people to interact freely with other users and institutions, it is not in position to control the flagrant abuse of the platform. In general, abusive, pointless, painful, or difficult interactions can scare away users from a platform, and that is what has exactly happened on Twitter.
- High Noise Level: Twitter excels in content liquidity. This means that there are a number of tweets, or content pieces flowing into Twitter. The effective content, or the signal to noise ratio for such content is very low. Links related to news articles, blog posts, videos, spam links, etc. take one away from Twitter, or distract the users. In this process, the desired content is lost. On the other hand, the other social media sites like Instagram, or Facebook have less noise levels or distractions as compared to Twitter.
- Buried Tweets: Twitter does not restrict the activities of the followers, and their display of content. Hence, it gets flooded with a host of irrelevant content from various sources. Consequently, the desired tweets, and discussions are lost. For instance, if you have a thousand followers on Twitter, your tweet is only one out of thousand sources of content. Once other users start tweeting, your tweet or content would be pushed down, and buried deep below contents of other users.
Absence of Visual Marketing: While Twitter serves as an excellent platform for promptly sharing the news feeds, the screens are usually devoid of pictures, images and videos unlike its competitors. For example, an Instagram, or a Facebook post ideally is more visually appealing than Twitter. While Twitter is popular mostly among men, women show more penchant towards Facebook, and Instagram than Twitter because of their visual content.
- Restricted to News Feeds: As an interactive platform, Twitter is used more often to share news feeds, i.e. “what is happening”. Contemporaries like Facebook and Instagram, elaborately present what is being done, or experienced by users. So, these networks are more interactive in nature than Twitter from social perspective.
- Concerns Related to Data Privacy and Security: Data Privacy is an important requirement of users in this Internet era. Since Twitter shares all the personal data with third parties, there is a sense of insecurity that users feel while using this platform. Identity theft, data compromise, and fraud tend to happen more frequently on Twitter than the other social media platforms.
- Tweet Size too Small for Users: Twitter places a restriction of 140 characters on each tweet. Not all users find this restriction acceptable, and therefore, they prefer to use other platforms where such stringent limitations do not exist.
Number One Social Site for Spammers: Spammers are constantly on the prowl on Twitter. It does not set restrictions on the followers, and there could be multiple users spamming a user’s account with irrelevant content. Users tweet to promote their websites, articles, blogs and so on, thereby leading to a splurge of unwarranted information. Moreover, spammers could sneak in, and get access to personal information.
- Useful to Celebrities: Celebrities tweet to promote their popularity, thereby keeping their fans constantly hooked on to their updates. Politicians, and their adversaries use this platform to throw barbs at each other, and create unnecessary commotion.
Highly Addictive for Users: Usage of Twitter is like an addiction, where precious, and valuable time is consumed. It deviates one from core activities. As a result, many users have decided not remain active on Twitter anymore.