Is Twitter facing ‘real’ demise this time?
A lot of people have said that Twitter’s days are numbered, that it would just soon bow down to Facebook, and even to Instagram. However, the controversial microblogging site would always respond in the most unexpected fashion.
The resignation of CEO Dick Costolo, for instance, has been countered by an immediate reinstatement of its founder and former head Jack Dorsey. Reports of Twitter going beyond its 140-character limit has been all over the Web lately. With the “alleged” new 10,000 character limit will enable it to compete with Facebook once again, as well as other emerging sites like Peach.
All these are promising, but, it still has to face the likes of Apple News, the rising star multilingual news app Born2Invest, even the still-dominant Flipboard to make its own Moments relevant on the story curation/app arena.
Twitter’s future remains a question to many. Is it still as big as it was in the latter years of the last decade? Everyone knows that it is not. Can it still become the top go-to place of people on the Internet? This, perhaps, is the real question.
The company is still a social media heavyweight. It has recently surpassed investor expectations despite losing $132 million after taxes last year.The simple truth that it’s still enjoying attention from the tech world says that it is still relevant. Bad publicity is still publicity, they say, and it has been true for Twitter.
On the other side of the equation, there are still those who believe that Twitter is far from experiencing “decay” or “death” as Robinson Meyer of The Atlantic and Joshua Topolsky of The New Yorker would say it. For Will Oremus of Slate, all the conjectures on the microblogging platform’s future are all but “feelings,” which would just fade away, that same thing it had been for what critics wrote on Facebook back in the day.
“In Twitter’s case, there are actual numbers that seem to support the narrative that it is failing to deliver on its promise. But those numbers don’t mean what Twitter’s critics think they mean. And conflating them with vague anecdotes about how the service feels is a category error that disserves everyone: readers, investors, and most of all the people who use and love Twitter as it is,” he wrote.
Never did Twitter say that it would become the next Friendster, MySpace, or Napster—once fashionable and ended up doomed. Apart from the possible character limit adjustments, it said that it will now show real-time updates from celebrities and let users search through tweets even when they aren’t logged in as an attempt to widen its appeal.
At the recently concluded Open Mobile Summit in San Francisco, its product chief Kevin Weil announced that it would capitalize more on its video properties—Vine and Periscope—to attract more users. It would also appoint new leaders after Jack Dorsey’s reassignment as CEO to give the platform a new sense of direction. Also, they would go back to tapping hidden revenue opportunities that would come from restoring developer relationship that has been tattered during Costello’s reign.
For Steven Max Patterson of Network World, seeing Twitter actively seeking for investors and being entertained by them shows that it is unlikely to plummet a la Friendster. “[Twitter’s recent investor-focused moves] resonate as the right steps forward to meet public investors’ demands for growth. With nearly $3.5 billion in cash, Twitter isn’t about to fail,” he said.
Some analysts say that what’s keeping some investors away from reconsidering Twitter is just mere weak guidance, and the moment they see the company’s plans they would surely look at Twitter as a new entity. Hence, investors need to see and look beyond tech articles that simply want to romanticize the platform’s past mistakes.
Numbers remain big, and they still make the global headlines. That means people are still rooting for the one of the most revolutionary inventions of the modern era.