Saturday, February 18, 2017

Twitter's Trouble

For the first time since the IPO in 2013, Twitter had a decline in ad revenue ($638 million over the holiday quarter vs $641 million over the same period in 2015).  This appears to be part of a growing trend, with slowing ad revenue over the last year.

There is growing competition for ad dollars - Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, etc, and it looks like Twitter is starting to fall out of favor.  User activity has increased, with increasing time spent and tweet views increasing.  However, advertisers are losing interest in the platform.

Part of the problem is the toxic tone on Twitter - harassment and bullying, that can affect brands hit with negativity.  Twitter is trying to shut down offensive users and prevent them from creating new accounts, while also hiding offensive tweets better.

Interestingly, advertisers say there aren't many positive tweets on Twitter - it's not the kind of place inspiring things brands like, and they end up in that same negative space.  Brands end up in tweet-wars; for instance T-mobile and Verizon had some brief back-and-forth during the Super Bowl about network speeds.
Twitter itself acknowledges the negativity as a major problem.  They now push themselves as a media service, as a way for people to keep up with events.

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