Last year, many of us were looking at the presidential race and Trump’s use of Twitter while wondering – maybe this is what Twitter needs right now?
Maybe how he uses the platform can change the fortunes of the social media company and bring new users onto the platform. The man who holds one of the most powerful seats in the world is prone to Twitter meltdowns at this point so surely people would leap to the platform to see what is happening on a day to day basis.
There have been other articles posted recently along the lines of “How Donald Trump Could Save Twitter” . Right or wrong, Trump’s Twitter meltdowns are entertaining. He loves Twitter, he feels it gives him the chance to express himself in whatever way he feels like so when he starts throwing his toys out of the pram and starts angrily tweeting you can’t help but be amused.
The whole idea of Trump possibly being able to save Twitter was brought up on the theory that people would now want to follow the most powerful man in America having daily temper tantrums when he should be working on policy and diplomacy. The fact that he words his tweets in such a childish manner just adds to the entertainment value.
With months gone by since I posed the question of Trump possibly being able to save Twitter, it is clear now that just wont be the case. The current data, while not terrible for Twitter, at the same time does not show a marked improvement.
Users have increased slightly but ad revenue is now decreasing. The consistent problem Twitter has struggled with is how they can monetise the network. There has been pushback over Twitter ads as they are simply overpriced and don’t provide the best ROI when compared to a model such as Facebook ads.
While the new users could be in part due to Trump, the numbers will need to be better than a 9 million increase in the last quarter so there is much work still to be done. One of the big problems they could face now is that Trump’s meltdowns are so heavily publicised by the media, there is no need to sign up and follow him on the platform.
Any time something significant happens on his account there are articles flying up on websites with the tweets embedded on the page, most of the time I am learning about his latest gaffe through an article before I actually look at his account.
Their problems right now rest with poor management. There is no doubt that the way in which Trump uses Twitter has increased the value of the platform but the management at Twitter still have not been able to figure out how to monetise it. Everyone in the media circle is on Twitter, politicians are on Twitter, online publications are on Twitter because when news breaks it breaks first on Twitter.
Twitter has an overwhelming amount of data and more power than what they can actually demonstrate at the moment. We can’t even really argue that people are simply confused by the platform because Snapchat is much more confusing and they have performed better in a shorter window of time.
Who knows what the future will hold for Twitter but when we look back it could well end up being a story of a platform which had all the potential but failed to innovate in its prime. The bottom line is that the company failed to produce meaningful product improvements in their prime and the ad model is so weak it will never be a success in the current form.
What will save Twitter won’t be Donaldo Trump, it will be the management team figuring out how to innovate and drive the platform forward. I think they will do just that, but I’m just not sure if they will do it fast enough.