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Twitter’s stock price plummeted 14 percent this past week after the company blamed advertisers for its poor results since it did not increase advertising spend as quickly as anticipated.
One of the most important metrics investors focus on for Twitter is its user growth. According to USA Today, Twitter has more than 300 million users, but it is dwarfed by other services — it’s one-fifth the size of Facebook and smaller even than the Facebook-owned, photo-sharing service Instagram.
Twitter’s monthly active users have been gradually declining since mid-2014, which is a big concern for investors. Other social sites like Facebook, SnapChat and Instagram continue to grow and become more popular among Millennials and Gen Z.
According to AdWeek, Snapchat is the fastest growing social network in the history of social networks, and 63 percent of its more than 100,000 daily active users, are between the ages of 13 to 34 and a driving force behind the mobile revolution. Fast Company reports that Twitter users are tweeting less and less.
Is Twitter doomed?
The recent news and data suggests that Twitter is outdated, unpopular and depending on who you listen to, on the verge of becoming nonexistent. The New Yorker ran an article with the catchy headline earlier this year, “The End of Twitter.”
I place advertisements for a lot of different companies and often recommend allocating their advertising dollars more towards Google and Facebook. I have been bearish on the microblogging website when a business owner or marketing manager asks me where to invest his or her advertising budget.
A small- to medium-sized business might not benefit from Twitter advertising in the same way as a major media company or fortune 100 brand.
How the NFL draft made me a Twitter believer (again).
On the same week Twitter announced disappointing earnings after missing revenue growth, the NFL draft took place. If Twitter were an NFL prospect, it would be lucky to even be selected by a team. Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, YouTube, would all be picked ahead of them.
As a Columbus resident, I had a major interest in the draft since five Ohio State players were expected to be taken in the first round. My favorite NFL team, the Giants, had the number 10 overall pick, which further piqued my interest.
Even though I wasn’t actively tweeting on draft day, I was following reporters from the Columbus Dispatch, New York Post and players who played for Ohio State. By customizing my Twitter feed, I had all of the important information pertaining to the draft for my liking.
The Twitter experience was addicting and I was more focused on my smartphone than the television. At that moment I realized that no other social media site can match the breaking news or live experience of Twitter.
I know I’m not breaking any news, it was just a revelation after hearing so much negative news recently.
Twitter & TV
On the bottom third of the television during ESPN’s telecast, they had a live Twitter feed which would show draftee, current player, and analyst reactions in 140 characters or less once a team’s draft pick was revealed.
When the Giants selected Eli Apple (an Ohio State player) Odell Beckham’s tweet appeared on the telecast, “I look forward to working against @EliApple13 daily! Welcome to the @Giants.”
If you were unaware, Twitter has a deal with Nielsen. Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings is the first-ever measure of the total activity and reach of TV-related conversation on Twitter.
In the instance that I occasionally glanced up from my smartphone to watch the commentary on TV, I was fixated on the live tweets appearing on the bottom third of the screen. For a sports fan, there is no other place that can match this type of user experience.
Twitter needs to be comfortable in its own skin.
Twitter and television are a match made in heaven. While analysts continue to focus on user growth, the microblogging website needs to stop worrying about this metric. If it has influencers, like Odell Beckham, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, sports fans and news, political and entertainment junkies will continue to turn to Twitter for breaking news and updates.
Every social channel has its own unique purpose. For Twitter, it is meant for influencers to break news and for people to speak their mind. Even if the Average Joe isn’t tweeting, if he is consuming the media, Twitter will be around for a long time.
Twitter’s draft stock has definitely declined over the past several years. Don’t forget though that the later draft picks sometimes turn into the most valuable players.