There are two big problems for Twitter right now, financial and social:
- I don’t believe it has found a sustainable way to monetize yet. I’m sure it will somehow come along but it has to be in its own image. I mean Twitter has been perceived as a revolutionary service for a long time (until recently) because of the fact that it forced people to write meaningful information in 140 chars or at least send you to it. The way it will monetize must be in the same image as the company, a tad quirky and bit unnatural, but very interesting nonetheless.
- All the major players, regardless of their area of business, start to be bashed by the press at one point. And it usually starts when there’s something related to sex or money. Sex is usually for any size of a company, big or small, but finance is for bigger companies because it’s more interesting. The bigger they are, the harder they fall.
What is extremely important is that Twitter is not intended for everyone. It’s really not. And the people for whom it was created, actually see intrinsic value and will defend the service even if you wake them up from a deep sleep. But just because of this it creates tremendous value for its users, and there are a lot of them. This is what Twitter should focus on.
It’s getting bashed right now because “teens” are not using it and somehow most of the press and tech journalists just agree to go with the flow and write that if an app/service is not liked by teens, it’s somehow worthless and should be shot, hanged and burned. And this creates a snowball effect leading to subsequent bashing of the company. Which causes problems for public companies, because the stock depends a lot on the high/low level of fear from the investors.
Moreover, Twitter is having some issues, that’s true. It needs to reorganize and focus on what’s important, the quality of their service and communicating more with users and investors. There’s a convergence of factors that are creating these problems: Jack thinking he can run two companies at the same time without help, the market which is starting to end a cycle of growth and will start to come down a bit (hopefully not crashing down, although it seems like it), another big 75 years market cycle which seems to be coming to an end, the bashing from the media, etc.
Then again, the simple fact that they are being bashed by the media means that Twitter is still meaningful. It’s still reliable as a service. It’s a SERVICE not a fad. This is the most important aspect.
Whether they will be able to steer the company to success once again, that remains to be seen. But it’s not going away too soon.