There has been a lot of talk in the recent past about the ‘demise of Twitter’. Will the platform continue in the future, or will it slide slowly into irrelevancy?
It’s a complicated question, but not one without precedent. One only has to look at the fortunes of MySpace to realise that no social platform is too big to fail.
I have always believed one of the key issues is that new users find Twitter confusing. Onboarding is a struggle because in an attempt to drive new connections and higher ad revenue, the company focuses on ‘mainstream’ content.
TV shows, large sporting events, huge movie or music releases. While these are undeniably important talking points, this approach plunges a user into a torrent of content with no means to easily separate solid commentary from noise (Chris Lake commented extensively on this in his excellent post earlier this year).
Unable to find depth, new users become disenchanted with the experience and leave, while advertisers are encouraged to push towards ever-wider audiences, reducing relevancy and response (But increasing the coffers of the ad platforms themselves, at least in the short term).
This issue isn’t unique to Twitter. Noise is on the increase across every platform, as businesses attempt to adopt publishing models, and ad-based businesses fail to evolve past ‘put more pop-ups on everything’ thinking.