Twitter is Having a Come-To-Jesus Moment

Twitter is Having a Come-To-Jesus Moment


It’s no mystery why Twitter is having issues. And yesterday they announced the re-tenure of Jack Dorsey as the new CEO. The problem is, Jack is spread pretty thin as his other company Square (where he is also the CEO) is about to go public. But like every good revamp, the Twitter troops wasted no time in soliciting feedback from its users.

I got a survey request which I happily answered. More to get their questions, but I did provide my real answers. (I’m hoping for a call later today after they read The Twitter Way and decide to make me Jack’s new attaché.)


Well, I’m all about making Twitter better, so let’s see what they were getting at. (Note: the survey was sent to an account that I have not actively used since 2012. I was surprised I still got the email from Twitter.

Here’s the heart of the Twitter survey.


I think Twitter has a good handle on the issues I see. I gave them my top list in a follow-up question asking for ideas.

  1. Kill the auto-responder.
  2. Educate people on Tweetdeck
  3. Resurface the Groups number (it was the real form of authority)
  4. Delete obvious spam accounts

And of course they wanted to know what I used Twitter for.

twitter-use social for

And of these I’m pretty sure there are dabblers who start with Twitter thinking they will use it to stay in touch, but when you are using Twitter for work your tasks are much more focused.

  1. Research (what hashtags are trending, what did people think of the presidential debate, which ads were liked and hated during the Super Bowl.)
  2. Promotion (here’s my new post, new story, new product)
  3. Breaking news (Ben Affleck is getting a divorce, violence breaks out in Chicago, The Texans have won the World Series)

Twitter is really for the pros. The masses like to tweet about TV shows and sporting events. And everyone else is measuring, calculating, and building PowerPoint decks of their results, “delivered in real-time, by social media.” Nielsen has pretty much succumbed to reporting Twitter data as well.

Most casual users that try Twitter are overwhelmed by the time line on The minute you follow more than 100 people things begin to get unmanageable. Especially if you follow one of Twitter celebrity bots like Guy Kawasaki. And the only way to slow down or make sense of the timeline is to use Tweetdeck or some other tool. Since Twitter owns Tweetdeck it would make sense for them to have some simple intros for newbies like “Here’s how to follow a lot of people, but still keep track of your friends, on Twitter.”

I hope Mr. Dorsey does more than increase the 140 character limit and make emojis huge in DMs. Because if we don’t encourage our next crop of new Twitter users, they will be gone before their first week is out. And then what we will be left with is pros “using” Twitter and scammers abusing Twitter.

Oh, and then they have to figure out how to make money. That’s the big job.

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Update 10-13-15: Twitter announces it’s laying off 8% of the company – TNW


John McElhenney
@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)


The new Twitter Moments button from TNW

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