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Twitter Looking To Claw Back Marketing Value
Twitter’s vision for the future has caught the interest of some, but others say more needs to be done.
Social media platform Twitter has a lot of ground to catch up if it plans to remain competitive, but developers remain optimistic after a Twitter strategy day held in San Francisco earlier this week.
Last week marked a full calendar year since the brand’s IPO, and the time has been chaotic for Twitter since. The strategy day was intended as an opportunity for Twitter’s senior executives to showcase the company’s growth plans, and for CEO Dick Costolo to shed light on the company’s vision for the future.
Twitter used the event to clarify its reach to indirect users: while the platform’s registered user database languishes at 284 million, Twitter claim that there’s a further 500 million use the service without ever logging in, attributed to content embedded onto third party sites, such as the one just below. The problem for Twitter is that its value as a marketing tool for retailers relies on its ability to attract a consistent stream of new users to interact more closely with Twitter than they currently do.
— Rich Greenfield (@RichBTIG) November 12, 2014
Twitter revealed that their future plans involved enticing these indirect users to make greater use of the Twitter platform. One of these enticements is the introduction of hosted video, giving users the ability to take, edit and share video content through the Twitter platform directly. It’s a positive move for Twitter, having watched Facebook’s integration of video publishing see it begin to overtake YouTube.
Other strategies include the introduction of specially curated feeds based on location, the ability to attach public tweets to a private message for discussion with friends and followers, and Timeline Highlights, which will feature popular tweets sent while a user was away from Twitter above the regular chronologically ordered feed with the tag “While you were away…”.
Another major strategy Twitter will pursue is the introduction of an Instant Timeline. When signing up for Twitter, users are prompted to follow at least ten other accounts, which it uses as a starting point for the new user’s Twitter feed. The new service will instead ask them to select from a list of topics they’re interested in, and then collate popular tweets and users to populate the new timeline.
“Instant Timeline could be the most important feature Twitter’s launched in years,” commented John Constine for TechCrunch. “It addresses both the onboarding and retention issue by making sure people see the best of Twitter.”
The new innovations Twitter floated piqued the interest of investors in New York, with the brand gaining 6.7 percent on Wall Street after the strategy day.
Twitter’s message is getting through to Wall Street: Stock up by as much as 6.7% today, with strategy day on in SF pic.twitter.com/o9Jch21pHt
— John McDuling (@jmcduling) November 12, 2014
These strategies haven’t seemed to impress Standard and Poor’s, however, with Bloomberg reporting that the credit rating firm giving Twitter a BB- speculative-grade “junk” corporate credit rating on the back of slowing user growth and managerial changes, undoing most of the market gains from the strategy day.
— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) November 13, 2014
“The company will need to make continual, sizable investments in its products and services to ensure growth and innovation, as well as maintain its relevance with its users,” S&P representatives said, adding that Twitter’s financial risk was ‘significant’ but also acknowledging that their potential for growth was strong and that the outlook for the company was ‘stable’.
While even S&P acknowledge the value of the strategies Twitter is pursuing to restore some of its value as a brand, the credit rating is a clear sign for the social media outlet that there’s a long way to go.