@PritishNandy recently wrote why he felt Twitter was dying. His article received widespread response, both for and against, and it is this debate that prompted me to write this blog post.
What Pritish Nandy wrote has been doing the rounds for quite some time now. The New Yorker, in its January 2016 piece, was quite emphatic about Twitter’s decline. Advertisers and Marketers focussing on digital media have been livid about a less-than-encouraging ROI on Twitter.
I have studied both sides of the debate over the years. However, I have been surprised by some of the arguments put forth after Pritish Nandy’s article to explain that all was well with Twitter and that it was up to the users to make full use of the medium. Take, for example, this thread of tweets.
Some said, Twitter user base couldn’t be compared to Facebook’s.
Even @ValaAfshar’s tweet has been quoted and widely circulated as an argument about all being well with Twitter.
One cannot disagree with the above sets of tweets. However, none of them refer to data. There is where the problem lies. Let me explain.
Below is the trend of Monthly Active Users (MAU) as declared by Twitter.
If you notice, the MAU growth has been plateauing since Q1 of 2015. So, while Twitter obviously can’t be compared to Facebook, such nominal growth indicates serious issues with the medium. Stagnation is death.
While the ad revenues are growing as of now, they are much below expectations and there are reports of advertisers reducing their spend on Twitter in the future owing to low ROI.
While the Board of Directors of Twitter has taken cognisance of the problem and has already made changes in the Twitter leadership and has even put the organisation up for sale, many Twitter users remain oblivious of the larger picture of poor AMU growth and ad ROI issues.
To conclude, I agree that Twitter isn’t going to die anytime soon. However, if many users feel that Twitter isn’t what it used to be; and the same is supported by data, one must sit up and take notice. Negligible AMU growth indicates that, if not addressed, Twitter is ripe for disruption.