By now, virtually anyone with a pulse knows what Twitter is and that a lot of people use it.
What most people don’t realize is how close Twitter is to being DEAD.
Jack Dorsey is the founder of Twitter and launched his first tweet in 2006 before becoming CEO. In 2008 he was fired for a variety of messy reasons, some of them centered around the lack of company performance. That didn’t help much. Twitter continued to not capitalize on its popularity and failed to deliver any real revenue. The company eventually rehired Jack Dorsey as the CEO in 2015. Stop me if you’ve heard this story before (see Steve Jobs and Apple).
Twitter is the social network of choice for many folks, but I have failed to see businesses take advantage of any advertising on Twitter. Personally, I use Twitter often, but I have never advertised on it. I just don’t see the benefits. This seems to be the stumbling block to Twitter becoming a sustainable business model. If the majority of users don’t see any value in advertising on Twitter and don’t buy into it, then only the minority will. But will the minority – primarily large ad agencies — bring enough business to Twitter to keep it alive? I doubt it.
Twitter was on life support before Jack Dorsey returned in 2015. It’s clear that Jack Dorsey has a reputation as a young entrepreneur for establishing two great technology services — Twitter and Square. But is his pedigree enough to save the company? Does he have the technological savvy to drive success for the organization? Put another way, is he the skilled surgeon creating the hands-on, innovative reputation of the hospital? Is he the nurse delivering the day-to-day quality care? Or is he just the CEO of the healthcare facility with not a whole lot to do with the daily functioning of the organization?
Me? I think it’s too late to fix something this fundamentally broken. Twitter is now being looked at by some wealthy prospective buyers who will likely buy it for the technology, then sell the patents and tech to a major software platform to integrate them into something new. It’s the patents – the intellectual property — that have real value, and that’s what people look at.
Expect things to change at Twitter over the next 12 months, including the recognition, finally, that while there may be a pulse, there’s been no real brain activity for some time.
As you can see, Twitter, in many ways, is being laid out in the coffin, but is it dead yet? Depending on your point-of-view, that’s hard to say. What is clear is that smart stakeholders might want to start planning a funeral, just in case.