The troll factor: Did neglected Twitter community killed the deal?
Last couple of weeks have been rough for Twitter. It’s been rumoured that Twitter has been negotiating a sale, and investors were at first rallying the shares up to $25 a share, and then, as reports have been coming in that the possible suitors like Google, Disney, and others are dropping off one by one, the shares came down to less that $17, a drop of almost 29%. That’s a few billions of dollars in value.
Why did the company fail to get the interest of Google, Salesforce, Disney, and others? Reports have been fairly consistent on this one: community.
Community is a blessing, and usually seen as a factor that makes companies stronger — it ties and connects the members together, allows to self-generate the network effects (like Twitter or Facebook), or feel connected to one another (like Under Armour Record — a former trio of fitness apps the apparel company has acquired).
However, what now is also important is the quality of this community. And while Twitter represents, to many, one of the most underrated, untapped potentials due to a connection to public figures and brands all over the world, it also has nasty, nasty trolls. And the trolls killed the deal.
Disney got spooked by the nasty hardcore trolls (and bigotry, and etc) when it thought it can buy Twitter to connect to millennial. Every community I’ve ever seen has some “bad apples”, but it’s the goal of the leaders to banish offenders and reinforce the culture (remember how fun Twitter was in the beginning?).
Just having a community may not mean a lot in the future, as more and more companies rely on this model to build loyalty. Making sure you build a strong, loyal, and positive community becomes 100x harder than just building a community.