Twitter knows it has to simplify its product and this new experiment goes down that road. In order to make the best content easier to find, Twitter is experimenting in Japan and U.S with an algorithmically-populated ‘News’ tab that surfaces breaking headlines from Twitter-approved publishers.
Upon clicking on a trending headline, a rich-media story screen comes along with text, images, top tweets so the layout is as straightforward as possible. It is another step to reinforce the social network’s leadership as the go-to platform to know what’s currently happening in the world.
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The forthcoming feature is also one in a series of recent changes to gather and retain new and casual users. It is the right path for Twitter to follow, as millions of people find the timeline confusing and give up shortly after signing up. To reverse the trend, Twitter needs to be easier to understand for newcomers, add value and, generally speaking, offer a more palatable experience.
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And it’s very much urgent, because Twitter is not doing great at the moment. Sure, revenue is increasing but user acquisition has plateaued and even slowed down while other social networks like Instagram or Pinterest carry on growing steadily. During its Q2 Earning Call, interim CEO Jack Dorsey sounded rather critical about the current situation so it’s not surprising to see Twitter’s stock price hitting a record low at $27.04.
This new incentive coupled with the upcoming release of events-related tweets curator Project Lightning are steps in the right direction but Twitter needs to keep its sleeves rolled up in order to get back on the growth track. It might be a do-or-die question.