Twitter: successful operation or future cadaver?


So, it’s another social media site being thrown to the wolves of C.I.T’s New Tech class huh? Facebook and YouTube have been poked and prodded, and now it’s Twitter’s turn on the operating table of Dr Thomas Elliot.

First, a little background information: Twitter is what’s known as a micro-blogging site, where posts are restricted to 140 characters each. In theory, this is supposed to be a headline-style site, where “followers” of a person/organisation can get bite sized updates on their friends, favourite companies or celebs, and are sometimes left links to articles further developing the point.

In other words, consider Twitter the digital equivalent of a Post-It® note.

But the question at hand is this: is Twitter a realistically maintainable, and most importantly, profitable, business model?

Well, there are a number of articles supporting Twitter’s business model, and saying it is ALREADY a profit-making business. O.k, it’s not on the levels of the juggernaut that is Facebook, but Facebook had been established since Feb 4 2004, whilst Twitter is a younger venture at a public launch of July 2006.

Also, on a personal note, I have found myself growing more and more weary of Facebook’s constant advertising and changing of their user interface, making it more difficult to enjoy the site. Twitter has now replaced Facebook as my go-to site when checking my social media sites, however there is one HUGE issue with Twitter:

It doesn’t hold a persons interest for as long.

Don’t believe me, check this graph on social media usage out, which shows that although Twitter is growing its membership, 49% of people don’t bother to check it regularly. This is a huge problem for Twitter if they decide to move into full-fledged advertising, rather than just selling Promoted Accounts.

Overall, whilst I do feel Twitter can be a sustainable business model with a few tweaks to improve retention and up the regular checking rate of accounts (such as the introduction of linking to YouTube à la Facebook), it has work to do before it can maximise its profit-making ventures


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