The Twitter Fallout
Anyone who is at all into social media knows that all eyes are now focused on Twitter and the new algorithm for their timeline. Much to the distaste of many of their users, the popular technology company recently made the decision to change the way they show tweets. Instead of the regular posting of tweets based on time of posting, Twitter will now show tweets based on how much they believe people will want to read them. The company thinks that this new format will make using the website easier for users, and therefore will drive Twitter’s growth. Additionally, the CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, also announced plans to increase the character limit for tweets.
It seems that nobody is happy about this news. Users of the website even began a hashtag campaign to protest the changes, which was trending as #RIPTwitter. They are worried that Twitter is attempting to become another version of Facebook instead of maintaining its original concept. Many are saying they like Twitter mainly because they are able to see tweets exactly when they come out. That is, of course, part of the point of the website.
Now people are turning to the obvious question: if so many users are upset with these changes, why is Twitter making them? It is, of course, entirely based on financials. Twitter has been suffering as of late, as its growth has been more stagnant than one would initially expect from such a popular platform. The company makes its money based on revenue for advertisements, and the number of people using Twitter is not enough to continue growing this revenue at a rate acceptable for investors. There are significantly fewer people using Twitter than the number of those using Facebook, and Twitter’s CEO wants to take a leaf out of Facebook’s book for a more profitable company.
This controversy has taken over the technological sphere and I personally do not think Twitter is on the right path to becoming a more profitable company. It seems that, in order to imitate Facebook’s fan base and revenue building, Dorsey is attempting to become another Facebook. This will, in the end, be an ineffective plan because Facebook already exists. The entire reason people use Twitter is because it is so different from Facebook. However, if Twitter becomes an imitation of Facebook, users will simply transition back into using Facebook instead.
All in all, I understand that Twitter is trying to grow revenue by following a successful business plan, but they must also keep sacred the originality of their company. That is the only way they will be able to survive.
For more information on the Twitter controversy, check out this article about reactions to Twitter’s algorithm changes.