Most of the news we hear about Twitter these days is not too good. People leaving the company. Stock sinking. Active users going down. If you read only these articles you might think Twitter will soon be a thing of the past. But most services that disappear do so because something else takes over. And when it comes to Twitter, I am not sure if there is any product right now that brings the rich, real-time content Twitter is bringing us. Therefor in my opinion Twitter can be saved, grow and make money.
As an enthusiastic, every day Twitter user, I like to share some thoughts on areas where Twitter can improve.
What’s happening now?
People flock to Twitter when something is happening. Wether that be a disaster like a terroristic attack or something like a football match. Take the Eurovision song contest. On a single day more than 314000 tweets were send on this topic, which were seen 73 million times. This should be a great opportunity for Twitter to be the main communication hub around the things that are happening right now.
Millions of people flocking around a specific event and communicating about it. TV networks would be jealous about the monetisation option such a crowd would offer. Twitter Moments is a first attempt to address the people consuming information about what’s happening, however in most of the world it is still not available. And where you have it, it’s still a limited service with only a small number of topics and limited content.
What are you interested in?
What goes for events also goes for other topics. Twitter should be the best way to find people to communicate about a specific topic. Going beyond the single hashtag and grouping subjects together. Not just the espresso hashtag, but grouping all coffee related topics to initiate and grow the conversation.
Same goes for lists. Lists are incredibly powerful to group together subject matter experts. Why doesn’t Twitter have a way of presenting you pre-populated lists around the subjects you are interested in. I notice a lot of people subscribe to some of the lists I have created. People that do not actively tweet, but consume information around a specific subject.
Also this should work well for very focused and targeted advertising. An airline with a great offer for flights to Rome would love to pay for some tweets in the Rome travel expert list. Hence advertising that does not irritate, because it is relevant. It’s a pity instead of growing the use of lists, Twitter is slowly killing it (in the Twitter app it’s almost a hidden feature)
What’s happening around you?
Twitter knows where you are. And Twitter now what’s being tweeted about the location you are. When getting into a new city, I would love to see what’s going on around me. Not in the way Foursquare or Yelp would do it. Not a restaurant recommendation, but live tweets from people in restaurants around me. With the opportunity to start a conversation with someone who is in the restaurant, or has been there before. And making people feel comfortable in a new environment should also be a good monetisation opportunity. Making advertising hyper-local also helps in making it relevant.
Connecting people around specific events, interests or location is a unique value proposition where Twitter can distinguish themselves from Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and other social media. The enormous amount of real-time data created every second should enable Twitter to create interesting content for people only consuming information. And I am convinced a good strategy can grow the user base, the engagement and the revenue stream.