Twitter celebrated their eighth anniversary recently, but the smoke from the blown-out candles had not cleared before they received word they had been banned in Turkey, lost two more high profile staff, and it was leaked they are experimenting with showing users how many views a tweet receives.
In Turkey, Twitter is the first website of social networks to be blocked by the Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan who is in the midst of a campaign, and believes by silencing Twitter, it will eliminate the spread of the corruption allegation he is under. He is also trying to block YouTube and Facebook.
A spokesperson says the ban would be lifted if Twitter put a representative in Turkey who would block whatever content the government, via Courts, would ask them to.
In addition to their ban in Turkey, is the staff exodus which Twitter seems to be continuing. This revolving door leaves critics wondering why the company has a problem keeping their staff since they made their appearance on the New York Stock Exchange. Sara Haider is heading to Secret, a two-month-old startup, to build them an android app. Cayley Torgeson, who was responsible for giving Twitter all the analytics of their own platform, is leaving for other opportunities, bringing the number of high profile staff exits up to eight since they have been on the market.
Notably, most of the departures are some of the early staff, but it is still troubling since it gives the appearance that Twitter cannot keep employees. Facebook, Microsoft, and Apple have millionaires and billionaires who have continued with their companies, so one has to wonder why the exit door looks so great at Twitter.
There is an experiment going on at Twitter. It is one which will either appeal to the user’s vanity or knock some people off their high horses. The experiment would allow users to see how many people saw their tweet.
This does not seem like a bad idea for brands concerned with their Return on Investment (ROI), but it could spell disaster for a platform which could not keep 89 percent of their users from 2012. There are two possible outcomes to this. If someone is tweeting, and they find that no one is seeing it, then they will either try different approaches or give up. Statistics show that quitting Twitter is what the majority do.
Currently, the way a person’s reach or influence is measured on Twitter is through the number of mentions and/or retweets. There have always been some limitations to this method, but it is what Twitter chose to use. Obviously the number of views would be easier to process since very few tweets are retweeted, and there is a noted decrease in personal engagement.
Twitter has acknowledged the fact that the platform is difficult to understand for new users. What they started out trying to accomplish in 2007 is a far cry from what they have become. Back in the day people were engaged and talked to each other. Today, it is a broadcasting platform. It is useful, as evidenced by the ability of the original Egyptian Revolution to organize and to spread their ideas. In times of crisis, Organizations such as the Red Cross have been able to give lifesaving information.
So, it makes sense from a brand point of view, and even with the use of hashtags, but for the average user, it could prove a blow to the ego, and that would spell trouble for Twitter.
by Delores Williams