While TWTR’s turnaround most certainly requires greater clarity as to who will be its dedicated CEO (Jack Dorsey as CEO at both Twitter and Square is untenable, even though he is a TWTR co-founder), the challenges TWTR confronts were longer term in the making and there are distinct risks that current changes in technology may pass TWTR by.
First, TWTR failed to build a vibrant community of independent software developers to sustain its development as a platform (see notes below):
-TWTR built their platform like Facebook on a successful developer program which encouraged developers to build applications based on their platform.
-They were so worried about successful Twitter clients taking their market share they bought the biggest (TweetDeck), the largest client. Now hardly used by anyone.
-They then started to adapt their guidelines for their developer program, any violating even in appearance (from viewing an app website) would result in a ban which would be extremely difficult to repeal. http://mashable.com/2011/03/11/twitter-api-clients/
-Eventually they either shut down enough third party apps, or bought enough of them to regain market share.
-They chose to monetize via sponsored tweets rather than a more traditional advertising model (like Facebook display ads).
-TWTR changed the rules to state you could not pay for application installs, or do revenue shares, shutting down app market place One-Forty who was absorbed into Hubspot. (Rules introduced in mid 2011).
-Second, there have been other issues serving to hamper TWTR creating value for its user community and so in some respects offsetting TWTR’s positive characteristics (see notes below):
-Lack of transparency, censorship, http://www.pcworld.com/article/2975301/software-social/twitter-shutdown-of-apps-for-deleted-tweets-could-give-politicians-new-control.html
-Social justice warriors https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAIP6fI0NAI
-Individuals and businesses are worried about making a mistake, huge number of marketing blunders by companies getting massive backlash.
-Low value of content, tweets show up for a split second if you happen to catch them, before they are pushed down. Some curation via hashtags but has the same issues.
-TWTR bought several sites seemingly just to shut them down, http://www.posterous.com/ (a very popular blogging platform), I realize it was for talent, and probably technologies, but still.
-Most of the content is to URLs, with very low engagement.
-A lot of celebrities have quit Twitter, taking their audience with them.
-A lot of people use Twitter (the site) for news, real time updates on any events.
–https://vine.co/ is owned by TWTR, is very popular (but not the Twitter site)
–https://www.periscope.tv/ is also owned by TWTR, (but it’s not the Twitter site)
-Larger user base
-Last and most important, technology advances, namely the creation of information curation engines that serve to better organize the accelerating information flow for users, may lead to TWTR being passed unless it can marshall sufficient resources to adapt (see notes below):
The dawn of information curation engines:
-Higher value content
-Less likely to attract SJW’s in a negative manner, i.e no way to attack an individual or business for their curated decks.
-Dynamic algorithmic curation vs User curation
-Spanning across all types of media, including Twitter, Facebook, and others.
-Private vs public – Privacy is more important today than ever (hence the explosion of Facebook groups).
Information curation engines:
-Reddit (www.reddit.com, huge growth) – primarily user curation for web pages only (i.e. discussion only)
-Pinterest (www.pinterest.com, also massive growth) – primarily user curation for images only
–Deckable (www.deckable.com) – Curation for anything, public, private, online / offline, IoT, more; both user generated and algorithmic.