Instant Twitter

Posted: July 27th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

I love it when a company has a specific Company Identity. Some of my favorites are losing their focus. Google wanted to make robots for a while. Amazon wants to be a grocer. Instead of being in touch with where they excel these companies believe they can do it all. Instead of focusing on where they are best positioned to win, they go after where they WANT to win.
In March of 2016, Twitter made a change. They followed the pack. Like Facebook before them, Twitter modified their newsfeed from real-time to algorithmic. Twitter enthusiasts thought it was the end of Twitter. The #RIPTwitter hashtag was popular but exaggerated the situation. Twitter’s user base did not revolt and growth has not been what Wall Street hopes for but exists. But, they lost their identity that day. Instead of becoming the go-to spot for what’s happening now, Twitter became yet-another-social-network.

Twitter’s mission

Our mission: To give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers.

Twitter’s statement gives direction and focus the company can march behind. “Instantly” is the key word. Empowering people to create is a crowded field – Facebook, Snap, Instagram. All these companies allow people to create and share ideas. But Twitter is the place for Breaking News, not Snap or Facebook. Twitter’s use of the hashtag allowed people to consume and share information about a real event. Most recently, Twitter’s Periscope brought live streaming to the masses in a way we haven’t seen before.

Twitter continues to make strides into real-time entertainment but not at the commitment that can make it their identity. For example, last year Twitter streamed Thursday Night Football games. Unfortunately they were outbid by Amazon this year for the deal. This loss indicates that Twitter isn’t as committed to the strategy as they could be.

Twitter can evolve to be the go-to place for real-time entertainment. I like the following strategy –

  • Keep the algorithmic feed but make it easy to access a real-time Timeline. Make ways to discover what is going on now (local, globally, etc) front and center.
  • Continue to build and push Live video streaming with Periscope.
  • Strike new deals to create a real-time only streaming package of high-quality content. A DirectTV Now or Sling type package but limit it to Live Shows. This would include Sports, News, Morning Shows and Award Shows. Never show a replay, only show live content with this package. Curate the best live content the world has to offer.
  • Create a live audio-only streaming service. Reach out to successful podcasters to broadcast their shows live. Reach out to successful “terrestrial” radio personalities and let them broadcast their shows to a global audience.,

By taking these steps, Twitter can have a specific identify for itself and customers. If Breaking News is happening, you want to go to Twitter to see what CNN News, Fox News and everyone on Twitter (the core service) have to say about it. If a live game is going on, Twitter is where you go to see the game, what people are saying about and people’s reactions on Periscope.

What’s doubly sweet about this strategy is how well Live TV lends itself to advertising. Sports advertising in particular has soared in recent years. You can’t fast forward Live TV and the performers (whether a newscaster, radio host or athlete) need breaks. Users are engaged because the length of the commercial break is less predictable than with a taped show.