What's Really Killing Twitter

I first joined Twitter in 2007, thanks to a client campaign activity, and was managing and maintaining their Twitter handle for few months. A year later, I personally got active on Twitter. 

My Twitter experience has been 3 stages..

Stage 1: Era of egghead DP & many personal tweets. Yes, it was that time in India, when you could send your tweet through SMS, using a basic feature phone.
Stage 2: An era of relevancy… when most fake profiles disappeared from the follower list, the tweets were relevant to the news/topics/people that were of interest to me, 
Stage 3: Era of confusion.. Today, I’m not sure why my Twitter timeline means to me. It is a hotchpotch of GIFs, Videos, crazy #tags, irrelevant tweets

Of late, Twitter has been in the news for all the wrong reasons…

  • Their earnings are down
  • User base is mostly stagnant and in some geos contracting
  • A lot of senior management people are leaving

These are signs of an organisation that is ill, very ill.

While the reasons for the downslide of Twitter are many, from WhatsApp, Pinterest, Instagram, to no proper monetisation model, to limitations of the platform itself… I have some thoughts on Twitter’s current illness

  • Laissez Faire Syndrome
  • Aldous Huxley Syndrome
  • Downtown Syndrome

As most other social media platforms, Twitter too started with a policy of being hands-free. Regulations and interferences from the company was/is by and far few. The underlying philosophy being that in a participative platform, self regulations will come to play. Unfortunately, as it happens with governments and with management, Laissez faire system best works when the people at large are homogeneous & have common interest in mind. Many social platforms evolved by putting checks and balances (with Facebook being the prime example) in place at right time

For me, two things that stand out in the book, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley,
  • the  fear of losing one’s individual identity, and 
  • how we pay a premium (sometimes with our freedom) to live a life of order, when chaos becomes too much to handle
Twitter for many have become a chaotic place, and thus to bring to order, people are either migrating to other platforms or logout of it. Also, what happens on social media tends to impact our real lives. Our behaviour is impacted by how many retweets, likes, shares, we get..the response to the posts, etc. Our virtual identity dictates our real life behaviour. Many have started the process of reclaiming and taking control of their lives & taking it easy on multiple social media platforms happens to be one of them

One of the prime reason we stereotype downtown areas to be bad and dangerous is due to few incidents that are more than average. It is just due to a handful of people that the whole place gets vilified. Same is the case with trolls and abuse mongers on Twitter. Being an open platform, there are many instances when people with narrow mindset and wicked intentions try and create arguments and upset lot of people (esp famous personalities). This deliberate provocation makes lot of active twitter users and large twitter base to step back & in extreme cases go out of Twitter..thus reducing the charm of Twitter

(I have made-up the above syndromes with my limited ‘creativity’. I know there could be more appropriate names for the same.. please suggest of any better titles)


As you await your treatment, I say a little prayer for you, Twitter

In the meantime, if you are interested in getting tweets and update about Ecom, digital marketing, branding, and advertising.. you can follow me on Twitter @Zentosh

Cheers!


Santosh

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