Broken Wings: Why is Twitter Falling from Grace?

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Digital marketing news has recently been awash with claims that Twitter as a company is failing fast. As Facebook’s younger cousin, the two platforms have always been ruthlessly compared; so in an age where Facebook has soared from strength to strength, why has everybody suddenly got the Twitter jitters?

The unsteadiness started at the top of the tree. Since Jack Dorsey — one of Twitter’s Founders — returned to the CEO seat last year, share prices have fallen by 50 per cent. Analysts predict that there will be further drop to around $11.04 per share. Dorsey’s return came after high levels of Executive turnover. Rumours filtered down to Twitter users, of plans to expand from the trademark 140-character Tweet limit, to a seemingly bottomless 10,000.


It’s no surprise that Twitter users feared such a fundamental change. Gone would be the pithy wit often brought about by not being able to ‘mince words’ in such a short space. The hashtag #RIPTwitter trended worldwide, the majority of users seemingly against the proposed expansion. With this in mind, Twitter also had to report that active user figures stood still at 320m from Q3 to Q4 in 2015. Compare this to Facebook’s 1.6bn users and it’s clear that Twitter is definitely not as mighty as it once was.

The status length expansion was one of Dorsey’s thoughts surrounding what he feels is one of Twitter’s main barriers to new users: It can seem quite confusing at first. He introduced ‘Moments’, a snapshot view of popular tweets and topics that have happened whilst the user has been away. There has also been discussions of moving away from chronological Tweets, instead giving a higher list presence to ‘popular’ tweets.

All in all, it seems that the combination of all of Dorsey’s proposed plans have left new users confused and existing users cold.

As business owners, we all find that Twitter is a great tool for ‘shorthand’ networking. It’s relatively easy to gain a following in whichever way you want it, be it geographically (local hashtag ‘hours’ seem to work well for connecting local businesses), or as a way to talk to industry associates about all things digital. It can be as far-reaching or close circuited as you want it to be. We’ll definitely be watching with interest, to see if Twitter learns to fly again.


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