Twitter future is a large acquisition or entering war-mode
Jun 14, 2012
Twitter's Future: Seeking Strategies for Growth and Revenue Amidst Potential Acquisition or Reinvention as a Media Platform
One hundred and forty million active users out of 300 million registered make Twitter the third social network on the planet in terms of registered users (the Chinese QZone is the second) and the second-largest in influence, only behind Facebook. If we take into account the relevance in society, it could be argued that Twitter is even more powerful than Facebook in terms of crowdsourcing of news focus (just remember how a Pakistani blogger broke the news of Osama bin Laden's death). Despite the fame and glory, Twitter still lacks an effective business plan or alternatives. And they are in sight.
The exact turnover is not known, but it is likely to be around US$140 million annually. Despite the value being real for most mortals, it is low for the reach and size of its network (Facebook earns 4 times more per user and this is considered little). Everything indicates that Twitter sees in advertising spaces the possibility of increasing the turnover (expects to earn US$1 billion in 2014). However, the core of the tool greatly limits the exploration of the ads market, which is extremely competitive in itself.
It is unlikely that Twitter will do nothing. The "guerrilla" posture it has so far (without attacking new revenue potentials and being faithful to the minimalist style of the tool) is unattractive to investors who are not zillionaires who have nothing else to do with their money. But options certainly do not lack.
One of them would be a partnership with another technology giant. It would make a lot of sense, for example, an alliance with Google, given the nature of the 'core business' of the search giant and Twitter's ability to generate new content. However, given the disagreement the two companies had some time ago makes the alliance unlikely. Even so, partners would not be lacking, such is the prestige, penetration, and versatility of Twitter to be suited to new environments. Interested parties would not be lacking.
A second possibility would be for Twitter to reinvent itself by trying to transform itself into a media in itself, as Matt Ingram suggests is happening, for example, with the NASCAR page and its content curation. Twitter's own CEO, Dick Costolo, has already stated that the tool is not a media in itself and despite Ingram thinking that Costolo is wrong, I tend to agree with Costolo. Yes, Twitter has an absurd ability to produce original content, but the company's focus should be on the tool and its versatility, leaving the curation and production to its clients.
More than a radical reinvention, Twitter needs a strategic repositioning and, eventually, "plugins" (and here, I do not mean plugins like those of Wordpress, but customized solutions that would give it versatility to generate new advertising spaces, for example). In terms of relevance and communicative revolution, Twitter is unbeatable and certainly the sharpest tool that has appeared in recent years. If we did not live in such a financialized world, with such an obsessive market to increase profits (as if it were possible to increase them forever), it could live as it is forever. But as this is not the case, the microblogging platform will have to seek alternatives.