Biz Stone’s Return to Twitter Boosts Stock

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Twitter’s prodigal son has returned after six years, and shareholders are sitting up and taking notice.

According to multiple reports, shares of the social media company were boosted by the return of co-founder Biz Stone. Following the announcement, midday trading saw stocks climb by 2% before closing at 1.35% to $19.49 in New York. Company shares have surged by 21% in the past three months.

The rebound was a welcome development for Twitter, which took a blow last year after the exodus of its top executives, retrenchment of 9% of its total workers, and a stock plunge. The company hit rock bottom when acquisition talks with Salesforce collapsed.

Apparently, Stone accepted the invitation of Jack Dorsey, another co-founder who returned to the front office two years ago, to usher the company into the future amid the threat posed by growing competition.

In a blog post, Stone revealed that he’s not looking to replace anybody in the company. Instead, he will be resuming the role that he played before he left Twitter in 2011.

“My top focus will be to guide the company culture, that energy, that feeling,” he said. “It’s important that everyone understands the whole story of Twitter and each of our roles in that story. I’ll shape the experience internally so it’s also felt outside the company.”

But a bump in Twitter’s market value after Stone’s return doesn’t necessarily mean a bright future ahead for the company. In fact, there are a few reasons why the Jelly founder probably won’t make much of a difference.

Aside from his ambiguous role in the company, which can still change in the future, things were really not that great when he was there. The issue with Twitter has always been its continued struggle with user growth. Only 60% of its 100 million monthly active users actually post a tweet.

The fact that Stone’s baby, Jelly, folded up and sold to Pinterest in just three years also does not provide much inspiration.

Finally, it’s unclear how Stone will be able to reverse Twitter’s fortunes, particularly when the company hasn’t significantly increased its social media footprint in recent years, unlike Facebook, Instagram, or even Snapchat, for instance.

Nevertheless, Stone is confident about Twitter’s future. As he wrote in his Medium blog, “Twitter has woven itself into the fabric of our global society. The world needs Twitter, and it’s here to stay.”

The post Biz Stone’s Return to Twitter Boosts Stock appeared first on WebProNews.

May 18th 2017 Social Media, Twitter

What’s Next for Twitter? Social Domination or Eminent Failure?

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Despite recent improvements to user experience and platform flexibility, the struggle to retain and attract new users—and grow revenue—is still real for Twitter. And, unfortunately, these may be the least of the platform’s worries these days.

From widespread trolling and harassment to simply having a confusing interface, Twitter is drawing criticism for nearly every aspect of its operation. In addition, after shutting down Vine and cutting more than 300 jobs last fall, more fuel was added to the claims that Twitter was getting closer to death.

So … Is Twitter Dying?

As an eternal optimist, I’m not ready to say Twitter’s fate is doomed. As WIRED’s Davey Alba said earlier this year, while Twitter may be a bit of a mess—it still has some real potential and value to offer.

“The thing is, in spite of its mess, there’s still a lot to value in Twitter,” Alba wrote. “No other social network has built up quite the same kind of cultural currency—and for good reason. Unlike other networks, Twitter’s influence is decentralized; it lies in its power users, the ones who use it to give voice to people and movements that may not have risen otherwise. Just look at how Twitter both took and pushed the pulse of the 2016 elections. Or how crises unfold on the platform. Or how social movements take hold.”

But I’m also a realist, so I have to acknowledge that Twitter has some serious work to do to remain viable and competitive. Currently, Twitter reports around 313 million monthly active users, but Statista had that number around 319 million at the end of 2016 and is now reporting 317 million as of January 2017. However, Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook come in with 301 million, 600 million and 1.86 billion monthly active users, respectively.

Cheating Death

You’re probably thinking, how can Twitter avoid falling off a cliff? How can it quell discontent? How can it retain and attract new users? How does it breathe new life into its platform and business?

Well, I certainly don’t have all the answers here. I’m not an expert in business operations or product development—nor am I a clairvoyant with a crystal ball. However, as a confident marketer, I definitely see a couple opportunities.

Twitter is experiencing many of the same problems that other brands face in today’s digital world—increasing competition for audience attention, bad press and reviews, stagnant growth, and so on. Below are two opportunities I think Twitter, and any struggling brand, could take advantage.

#1 – Double-down on your core strengths.

For more than a decade, social media platforms have been looking for ways to set themselves apart from one another—something Twitter made clear right out of the gate. But as social media becomes increasingly ingrained in people’s daily lives, we’re now in a time where social platforms are balancing uniqueness with offering all the things. (Look no further than Facebook and Instagram’s new Snapchat-like features, or the rise of hashtags and mentioning capabilities across platforms.)

For Twitter to stay relevant, it’ll most certainly have to evolve its platform in some way to mimic the things that are working for the competition. But it shouldn’t lose sight of what sets it apart—nor its core strengths. And its core strength is the real-time format that allows users to be intimately engaged with what’s happening in the world and in their social circle.

The big takeaway for all: Define your core strengths, and use them to propel your business strategy and marketing efforts forward.

#2 – Embrace criticism—and address it in public.

Every company dreams of 100% customer or user satisfaction, but that’s rarely the case—even for the most successful and revered brands out there. And, these days, social media is often an easy place for people to air their grievances—an irony Twitter itself is intimately familiar with.

Generally speaking, Twitter is taking a pretty standard PR approach to addressing its shortcomings and user gripes, but it may not hurt to be a little more transparent about it all. Honesty and humility can go a long way.

The big takeaway for all: Use any negative feedback as an opportunity to show humility, understanding and your commitment to taking care of your users, customers and glaring issues.

Will Twitter Die or Find New Life?

As I said, I’m no psychic. But it appears that Twitter is making strides to address some nagging issues.

Last week, Twitter announced that usernames no longer count toward the 140-character limit in tweet replies—which allows users more room to say what they need to say, but still keeps its essence intact. In addition, in early February Twitter announced safety updates to address abusive accounts and content.

“We stand for freedom of expression and people being able to see all sides of any topic,” Twitter said in a release. “That’s put in jeopardy when abuse and harassment stifle and silence those voices. We won’t tolerate it and we’re launching new efforts to stop it.”

Twitter also retired its default profile image of an egg. The new default image is a human silhouette, which Recode said aims to encourage more people to upload pictures of themselves, and also move the brand away from an image that’s often associated with trolls.

Finally, news just broke there’s a campaign to turn Twitter into a user-owned cooperative. According to Business Insider, Twitter shareholders will vote on whether to investigate the proposal at its May 22 meeting. While Twitter is opposed to the plan, and it seems unlikely to move forward, it can’t be dismissed.

“It’s an interesting proposal—and underlines the discontent some shareholders feel with the ailing social network, which is struggling to grow or turn a profit,” the Business Insider article said.

The bottom line? Twitter is trying, but mostly treading water, and what its leaders do in the next year will likely determine whether the platform rises again or meets defeat.

What’s your take on Twitter’s future? Tell us in the comments section below.


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April 11th 2017 Social Media, Twitter

Twitter suing Homeland Security suggests some of those alt Twitter accounts were real after all

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 New legal documents show that Twitter is taking the Department of Homeland Security to court to protect the true identity of an account that claims to be run by employees of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. The account, @ALT_USCIS, is one of many “alt” government agency accounts that began appearing in the early days of the Trump administration. The filing… Read More

April 7th 2017 Twitter

Businesses can now request customer locations within Twitter Direct Messages

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Brands on Twitter can now address issues more quickly and help local customers by requesting their location in a Direct Message.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

April 4th 2017 Twitter

How Stories Search makes Snapchat a real-time YouTube

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 Snapchat is shifting from a social network limited to content shared by people you follow to an ephemeral, real-time database of what’s going on now everywhere. Today Snapchat launched Search for Stories submitted to its public Our Stories. It makes Snapchat as deep as whatever the world is sharing, creating near-infinite rabbit holes to go down. Read More

April 1st 2017 Mobile, Twitter, YouTube

Twitter is getting rid of the egg avatar (because that will totally fix the abuse problem)

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 Everyone knows that Twitter has a harassment problem. And while the service has tried things like banning abusive users (both on a temporary and permanent basis) it hasn’t really fixed the problem. Today, they’re announcing another sweeping change that fails to address the real problem: they’re cracking the egg. Read More

April 1st 2017 Social Media, Twitter

Twitter drops usernames from replies, giving full 140 characters to respond

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A new change will give you more room to respond and, according to Twitter, make conversations easier to follow.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

March 31st 2017 Twitter

Twitter explores paid subscription version of TweetDeck as ad biz struggles

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Twitter doesn’t currently make money from people who use its ad-free TweetDeck app, but soon it might.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

March 24th 2017 Twitter

As hyper-conservative media surged, Republicans’ trust in news cratered

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 In 2000, Republicans, Democrats and Independents were all within six percentage points of one another in terms of their trust in the media, ranging from 47 percent to 53 percent. But since that time, figures for both Independents and Republicans have been declining, with Republicans generally declining at a sharper rate. Read More

March 20th 2017 Facebook, Twitter

Twitter extends abuse blocking to main timeline, puts offenders on timeout

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People can mute tweets containing certain keywords, phrases, hashtags or emojis from appearing in their timeline.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

March 2nd 2017 Twitter