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  • Writer's pictureRogier Visser, Founder Roundabout social

Whatever happened to Twitter?

Silicon Valley's lost boy Twitter reinvents itself and gains momentum.

On all levels Twitter is outdoing itself. Finally making a solid profit for two quarters in a row after a decade of loss.

Twitter was long seen as the sickly child of Silicon Valley. While Google and Facebook conquered the advertising market, (8 out of 10 ad-dollars are being split between the two) Twitter just couldn't retain advertisers on the same level.

And then there's the remarkable rise in its user base. From when it announced Disney will produce live news, sports and entertainment for them to broadcast through Twitter on Tuesday their share went up 5 %.

Finally the company gained traction, making a profit of 50 million euro in the 1st quarter of 2018. Attracting 6 million new active users adding up to 336 million users on a monthly basis. Their daily user rates increased with 10%. You probably remember how they sky rocketed in the early days of their existence. Clearly they can't live up to that in 2018.

Compared to how Facebook and Google are exceeding exponentially in advertising market growth Twitter is monetizing their existing user base. Their ability to reinvent their business model has made this shift possible. By cutting costs of operations like research and marketing with 30% and an even stronger focus on it' s key role as a social news medium by implementing an array of new features. Making in users spend more time on the platform. Instead of recent tweets the algorithm delivers relevant tweets to the timelines.

Adding in the length of a tweet now is 280 characters where it used to be 140. The deal with MLB the American baseball league to broadcast live games in the US has helped as well. Live Disney shows make up for even more user engagement. Keeping them interested and their eyes on the screen resulting in advertising possibilities. On the same note: the way Twitters most famous user Trump uses the medium on a daily basis reinforces their key role.

Catering to users who are into news stories Twitter plans to introduce separate timelines for breaking news and important events. For those engaging in the arena of opinions Twitter is the number one player in the field.

In disabling the option of posting multiple tweets with one click which limits the amount of spam and the use of bots are effective to a certain point.

Problems with racism, discrimination and hate speech, trolls and fake news by bots still continue on Twitter just as they do on Facebook. Congress summoned Twitter to explain Russian involvement in the 2016 US elections in October.

Extensive research on these problems was published in march by MIT's Media Lab. Fake news rapidly spreads to large audiences. Its 'human nature' MIT claims, people retweet fake news faster as it contains more juicy and alternative information, the research shows. Misinformation racism and hateful content hasn't been ruled out yet. They blocked thousands of malignant accounts and Russian state operated media have been banned as well. Nevertheless spamming and automatic posting are still possible.

Maybe advertising on Twitter will be a big thing again over 2018. We certainly will try this for our clients and of course keep you updated!

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