A few days ago, Twitter has released its first post-IPO earnings report, with the reactions being mixed. Although it managed to surpass the revenue expectations, reaching almost $243 million during Q4 2013, which accounts to an increase of 116 percent from last year, it didn’t succeed in significantly increasing monthly active users from Q3 2013 to Q4 2013, reporting an increase of just 3.88 percent, reaching 241 million active users monthly.
As it seems, Twitter is capable of monetization, but not of actual user growth, which sounds concerning, if they want to aim higher. What’s the problem then?
If you are an active Twitter user, you might have noticed that Twitter‘s main audience comes from media, digital, or entertainment background, with most of them producing or consuming information. However, the ‘normal’ user that is not a journalist, a marketer, or a celebrity fan, is not around, or is simply not active. There are many users that sign up and don’t use Twitter, and there are even more that use it passively, following their favorite sources/users.
What’s more, Twitter is staying behind in such a visual digital era, while Pinterest and Instagram keep growing. Image previews were a step towards a more visualized Twitter, but it still needs to find more ways to grab the visual users’ attention.
One of the most popular uses of Twitter is the discussion of popular TV shows. Every big event is integrating hashtags and monitors Twitter activity, which sometimes seems more important than the actual TV ratings. Twitter should definitely focus even more on the social side of television, in order to persuade more users to combine their favorite events with an interactive tweeting experience.
- New users need to have a better ‘guidance’. Many users don’t understand Twitter when they sign up, that’s why there should be a way to turn them into loyal users in an easier way.
- Visual content experience should be increased. Pictures, videos and rich media in general need to be used more, in order to turn Twitter into a more appealing modern social network.
- Conversations should be encouraged even more. Twitter is already experimenting with several ways to increase conversations, either public or personal, and it seems that they are determined to try even harder in order to get as social as possible.
- Following topics should become easier. Most users sign up on Twitter in order to follow their favorite topics and users. It is highly important then to give them an easy way to discover interesting users and find additional reasons to stay loyal.
According to Costolo’s suggestions, Twitter is on the right track in order to improve its user experience and ultimately gain more active users. However, what they need to do now is implement their thoughts into the actual social network and measure the effects on the following reports.
Will Twitter win this bet? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.