God, Please Save Twitter from Itself


The author of The Twitter Way, shares his plans for Twitter to once again take over the world.

The return of twitterling Dorsey hasn’t exactly rocked the world. That’s too bad, because Twitter may be the most powerful social network, but Twitter is losing a lot of money. And this quarter Twitter for the first time since launch had to report it has lost users. Of course they did, the Twitter is experience for all but the experienced is awful. Let me spell it out for you.

  • Twitter.com is a mess. Their flagship page is a firehose of BS. How the spammer accounts get through in this day and age… Please Twitter, clean up the feed.
  • Twitter is losing users. Most new Tweeters last less than a week. Their drop off rate is one of the worst in the business. Why? 1. Because it’s hard to use. 2. Because it’s hard to follow. 3. It’s no longer for keeping in touch with others, it’s a marketing/advertising platform.
  • Tweetdeck might help, but Twitter has no idea how to use or market Tweetdeck.
  • Twitter Ads show the worst return of any platform I’ve tried. (The Unhappy Reality of Twitter Ads)
  • Twitter needs to KILL ALL SPAM ACCOUNTS. So far they’ve been very lax. Why? Because removing millions of scammers would REALLY hurt their numbers.
  • Remove the numbers game. Sure, I’ve worked hard for my followers, but it’s not a badge of honor. Especially with all the spammers offering me 10,000 followers for $10.

What Twitter Needs to Do
(Yes, I’m available for consulting on a day and half-day rate.)

  • Twitter needs to open up the API again and charge for the feed. I know a number of companies that were taken out at Twitter’s 2.0 feed changes. And Twitter really NEEDS third-party developers.
  • Promote the LISTS feature. It holds the only semblance of authority and trust on Twitter.
  • Kill non-followed DMs. This is another violation of our trust. A DM is supposed to be from people I follow ONLY.
  • Train new users. Quit trying to be so innovative. Stick with the basics. Where’s the “Here’s how you use Twitter.” video. Where’s the “I’ve been on Twitter for a week and I still have no idea what it’s about.” video? Twitter needs to educate new users, not just sign them up and plop them on the home page.
  • Verified needs to be a badge of honor and trust, not an insider’s club.
  • Buy Bit.ly and really integrate metrics and link sharing.

I’ve been writing about Twitter since the SXSW launch. If you find someone who’s written more about Twitter, let me know. Are they listening? (I had a few exchanges via Twitter with some of the founders, back in the day.) Yes and no. I’m sure Twitter watches the social media channels to find new ideas to try. Here’s my big IDEA. Hire me for a day, let me come to Twitter.co HQ and do a brainstorming, capture and release, session with your leaders and creatives.

Twitter needs help. I’m just the person to provide a shot in the arm.

Reference: Twitter, to Save Itself, Must Scale Back World-Swallowing Ambitions (I disagree, I think Twitter needs to GO for world domination and quit trying to be “innovative.”)

John McElhenney


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