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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Some advice to Twitter

Yesterday Twitter reported on earnings and the stock went down in after market trading where the explanation I read was that investors were concerned with user growth, as it was beneath market expectations.

I'm not surprised.

I really like Twitter and LOVE recent advances, like being able to embed tweets into posts which I've used, and the new profile. If you wish to see mine, you can check:

twitter.com/jstevh

And I like to tweet, and checking now for this post I see I have 4237 tweets. But tweeting is providing content, and I think Twitter fails to understand how hard that can be so I'll talk about YouTube with advice for Twitter.

Can you imagine if YouTube behaved like Twitter? Then it wouldn't count views much, only people putting up videos! Do you have videos on YouTube?

I actually do. They're more like test videos and checking for this post, I have 61 views. But at least I can check to see how many views I have! I cannot tell you how many people have viewed my tweets as Twitter doesn't tell me.

Can you imagine if YouTube behaved that way? Then we wouldn't know the most viewed videos on YouTube!!!

If they behaved like Twitter we would know the most shared videos, as sharing is equivalent to re-tweeting.

Quite simply Twitter doesn't appreciate the content value of tweets and still behaves as if they're mostly throw-away communications between two individuals versus being rich content in their own right.

The inability to see the true value of tweets and to give respect to tweet viewers as well as producers is I think the biggest current problem that is restricting the company.

If YouTube behaved like Twitter it would appear to have a growth problem as well, as its user numbers would be pathetic with lots of people signed up versus the number posting videos.

So, my advice to Twitter is to accept users who do not tweet but view tweets as being valuable to the company just like YouTube accepts people who post no videos!

And I believe more people will sign up for Twitter if they don't feel like they are pressured to tweet.

It can be demoralizing I'm sure to look at very few followers or very few tweets and feel like you just don't belong.

I'm not sure how Twitter can make those folks feel welcome even if they're not tweeting into the thousands, but I suggest they think of a way.

And please give analytics information for those people who DO love to tweet, so people can see which tweets are doing great beyond just re-tweets or favorites. Views are passive. Re-tweets and favorites are active behaviors.

Most viewers are not going to engage in an active behavior with tweets beyond looking at one, just like most people don't engage actively with videos on YouTube beyond looking at them, yet YouTube tells us views anyway.

Thanks Twitter for doing a great job, and my advice is just my opinion which I like to throw out there.

Talk is a lot easier than helping hundreds of millions of people communicate around the world! So I will note that my thinking is mine and may not represent the best path. Others may agree or disagree.

It's just so much fun to throw ideas out there.


James Harris
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