Fans Roll Out a Petition to Save Twitter…By Buying It!

von Sean Ogino |

Fans Roll Out a Petition to Save Twitter…By Buying It!

save twitter

When you see the White House press secretary printing out tweets and waving them around, you can realize how Twitter has become an integral part of the American lifestyle. Twitter has passed the phase where it could have become a one- trick pony by just remaining a plain person-to-person communication medium. Now, it means so many things to so many people. For most, it’s the window through which they look towards the world. It has become the tool that raises their ambits of social awareness by informing them about what is happening in the war-torn Gaza Strip and which celebrity has become the talk of the town It’s then not shocking to see that when Google and other giants have tried to swallow it by flexing their large financial muscles, the fanbase of the social media network has come up with a suggestion to save Twitter by buying it.

The fact that Twitter is in troubled waters is not really news. Shares in Twitter have lost a third of their value since it listed in November 2013, as investors lost hope that it would ever grow to the size of Facebook. Also, in its last reported quarter, Twitter’s revenue dropped for the first time as advertisers started getting cold. The following figure depicts the downward spiral of Twitter’s life.

spiral of Twitter’s life

If this situation stays for a long time, then the platform’s future will hinge upon a very tentative hook. That’s the reason why this time its die-hard followers have decided to take the matter into their own hands by talking about a proposal to save Twitter.

To gather mass momentum, they have come up with a petition calling for a co-op structure that has been signed by nearly 3,500 people. The main argument of this petition is that Twitter’s conventional structure is not in a position to value its social significance. Besides, Nathan Schneir, the first proponent of a cooperative Twitter ownership model, pinpoints a concern that secretly dwells in all Twitter fans. Through the petition, he has raised a pertinent question: “How can we make sure that the future of the company serves those who depend on it most, who most want to see it succeed culturally, technologically, and financially?” They have a website, and their petition to save Twitter reads like this-

“For a lot of us Twitter is the fastest, easiest way to know and share what’s going on around us — it sparks conversations, spreads information, and energizes movements. But Wall Street thinks the company is a failure because it’s not raking in enough profit for shareholders. That means that Twitter is up for sale, and there is a real risk that the new owner may ruin our beloved platform with a narrow pursuit of profit or political gains.

We want the company to share its future with those whose participation make it so valuable: its users. There’s a growing movement urging Twitter to work with users to find a way to buy it and to turn it into a cooperatively owned platform. We can foster innovation from the community and create a better, more user-friendly business model. The Associated Press, REI, and the Green Bay Packers all demonstrate the profitability and popularity of democratic ownership models.

…It’s time we expand our imaginations in order to create a more open, inclusive, and people-centered Internet.”

To logically justify this unique demand of making it a co-operative firm, the petition to save Twitter also cites a number of examples of cooperatives as evidence it could work. It has named few online companies like Managed by Q, which allocates equity to office cleaners, and Stocksys United, a stock-photo platform owned by its photographers.

Considering the massive momentum that this petition has gathered and pressure from Wall Street for short-term returns, it will be the top priority agenda in the annual meeting of Twitter. The chances of a passing of this proposal are as thin as paper, as Twitter management has been unequivocal about its out and out opposition to this suggestion to save Twitter. In a statement, it argues-

“The proposal is not in the best interests of Twitter and our stockholders. We believe that preparing a report on the nature and feasibility of selling the ‘platform,’ and doing so only to ‘its users,’ would be a misallocation of resources and a distraction to our board of directors and management—resources and management time that could otherwise be used to build the long-term value of Twitter.

The proposal would have Twitter explore the sale of the ‘platform’ to one specific group of people, ‘its users’, ‘via a cooperative or similar structure.” The proposal has pinpointed a very specific type of transaction and ownership structure and the board of directors does not believe that the course of action suggested in the proposal would enhance the value of the ‘platform’ or Twitter.

Further, limiting exploration of strategic transactions that may enhance stockholder value to one narrow option would not be in accordance with the board of directors’ responsibilities to take actions that are in the best interests of Twitter and its stockholders. We believe Twitter is on track to continue building on the long-term value of Twitter for all of our stockholders as a publicly held corporation and not as a ‘cooperative or similar structure’ owned solely by ‘its users’. As a publicly traded company, our users are also free to become stockholders of Twitter without any need to change the structure of the company.”

That last point is an important one — users can already take ownership in Twitter if they’re prepared to go to the effort of buying stock. It can take the wind out of the petition.

Clearly, unanimous opposition from the board means the vote is unlikely to pass, as that will need more than 50% of votes. And even then, there would be no guarantee on what the report into the possibility of making Twitter a co-operative firm would say, or whether the company would follow through with it.

However, regardless of the future of this petition to save Twitter, what is fascinating is the possibility of an alternative structure for a major tech company. It talks about a totally different business model for the social media giants. This is because social media plays a different role in people’s lives than other tech platforms and solutions. People are socially and emotionally dependent on them to the extent that having a Twitter account or a Facebook page has become as indispensable as owning a phone or having electricity. Naturally, happenings in the social media world do have social repercussions. This social connection between people and social media platforms has forced commentators and intellectuals to believe that social media companies are more akin to public utilities. The significance of this petition is that it has brought that thought of social media platforms being public utilities from the realm of intellectuals to the common people…and the think tanks behind various social media giants will surely take a note of this!

Is Twitter Dead, or on the Verge of a Revival?

twitter dead

Just in time for Halloween, we have to ask ourselves: Is Twitter dead? Or will it be making a supernatural rebirth?

Only a few days ago, at their Q3 2016 earnings call, the company announced results that beat analysts’ expectations but still make it a loss-making company. More dramatically, it announced layoffs of 9% of its workforce, as well as the eventual demise of Vine, the short video-looping and sharing platform it owns.

Of course, this state of affairs didn’t come about overnight. The readings of all the experts- as far as the Twitter dead march is concerned, pinpoint towards the fact of lack of innovative spirit in the Twitter head office. It looks like Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, is trying everything to bring back the boat safely to the shore. Albeit it’s too late and too little, but he is trying to overhaul the product from top to bottom. We will dive into what changes Twitter is planning to do to turn the tide of the current danger.

Is Twitter dead? Well, Vine is, but it’ll be preserved for mourners to view…

Twitter is all set to close down Vine, a looping video app. In this announcement, it said that users will be able to download their Vines and that the Vine website will remain online so users can continue to watch previously posted content. Twitter also says that the website will remain online because the company thinks that it’s important to still be able to watch all the incredible Vines that have been made.

Of course, there is a scope to believe that Twitter wants to focus more on its Periscope product and live streaming rather than the short looping video service Vine, but the reality is different. Twitter acquired Vine before it had officially launched in 2012 for a reported $30m (£24.6m). Considering its six-second video nature, it was a perfect match for Twitter’s crispy 140-character posts and it began with a bang.  It became no. 1 app on the iTunes App Store only six months after joining the company. The app reached 200 million active users…and then it stagnated. Just like its rapid rise, the world saw its rapid decline.

vine sensor tower
If Sensor Tower’s data has to be believed, year-over-year worldwide downloads of the Vine app declined 55 percent in Q3 across both the Apple App Store and Google Play. The major reason for this decline was the fact that six seconds videos alone were not enough for Vine to compete with Snapchat and Instagram. By this time last year, all of Vine’s three co-founders had left Twitter, some due to layoffs.

Twitter had to get rid of it somehow! But having said that, it would be interesting to see if Twitter plans to integrate Vine-like features into its main app. Vine still has a dedicated fan base, including celebrities.

Is Twitter dead? Abuse on the platform might just kill it.

One of the biggest pain points of Twitter is its inability to control ceaseless and crass comments, which invariably takes the form of abuse. So much so that it has become synonymous with the platform. It is leaving people with no alternative than to stay away from the platform.

As usual, the most common victims of this slur have been celebrities. We saw how actor Leslie Jones quit the service. But it is not just repelling users, but the prospective buyers of Twitter are also not in favor of this indecency.  The CEO of Salesforce, Marc Benioff, said he walked away from a deal with Twitter due to its price, work culture, and the amount of abuse on the site. It’s quite clear from this example, how the unacceptable use of language plays a huge role in ruining the deal.

That’s why Twitter is planning to deal with these issues of abuse and trolls with new tools and policies in November. The sources have said that company is working hard to put important safety features in place to make Twitter a pleasant digital place. The company said in its third quarter shareholder letter that next month, it will be sharing meaningful updates to its safety policy, product, and enforcement strategy. Hence, in this November we may expect that the planned solution of Twitter will act as a deterrent to all-too-common abuses. As of now, though, we don’t know many details…

Is Twitter dead? Well, its feed is being reborn.

Every social media network is working on making its timelines/feeds more and more engaging. Twitter’s personalized timeline has been already in testing. This testing also involves video broadcasts, which are based on people’s interest graphs and key influencers’ tweets. The motive behind this move is the simplest to understand. I have been saying that the wisdom is not in showing people what you want them to see. It’s in letting people see what they want to see. That was the main reason why Snapchat removed its Auto Advance feature, which automatically played every story in the user’s feed in a reverse chronological order. People want freedom of selection. Making them see something forcibly is a big no. And Twitter has realized this…at least it seems!

Really, is Twitter dead? Not yet, but we might be close.

Looking at it very, very objectively, I can say that these are some desperate attempts by Twitter to stay relevant and survive somehow. Its demise is imminent if it doesn’t make big changes, though. It will be interesting to see if these changes move hearts of potential buyers like Disney and Salesforce.

The responses so far have been mixed, though. A TechCrunch writer is in some testing for a new @ reply design and is reporting that it’s a mess, while the stock market has been showing more encouraging signs.

Note: We always keep a close watch on each and every happening in the social media world. In this blog also we have discussed Facebook’s recent updates for marketers, including product tags. Here, you can find out everything about Facebook’s launch of Marketplace. To know which new targeting tools Snapchat has added in its arsenal, have a glance at this blog.  Similarly, to get acquainted with recent Instagram updates, this blog is a must read.

Finally, to know what’s fresh in user generated content for next year, don’t miss out on our guide, “The New Wave of User Generated Content: 7 Concepts for 2017 and Beyond!”

What happened to the Twitter Buy button?

What happened to the Twitter Buy button?

It’s not uncommon to see that even predictions and assumptions of mighty trendsetters or pioneers in the industry go astray. The latest casualty is the Twitter Buy button. The writing on the wall is: Twitter’s way towards becoming world’s biggest social marketplace was not as easy and as hurdle free as their leadership had hoped. … Weiterlesen

Live Streaming Video Apps – Could They Help You Build Brand Authenticity?

On March 1st Tech Crunch called it with the headline; “Meerkat Is The Livestreaming App Twitter Should Have Built”.

Yesterday, March 26 Twitter listened to that critique by releasing Periscope, an app very similar to Meerkat that lets you live-stream video of your life from your smartphone to anyone in the world. Like Meerkat it connects directly to your Twitter account to tweet out a link and it sends out a notification across the network when you are ready to begin your broadcast and giving your followers the ability to watch live from anywhere. You can see how many people are tuning in, how many people are liking the video, receive comments, and unlike Meerkat, you have the option to save the video.

In true social media form, people took to it quickly, broadcasting everything from videos of themselves eating lunch to streaming video of the explosion of a New York building. Live streaming is an interesting factor in the usually highly curated world of Social Media. It means anything can happen; viewers can influence the outcome, no-one can edit out an unflattering shot, and you no longer have unlimited opportunities to capture the perfect moment.

Given that it was only released a day ago it’s hard to tell if Periscope will gain a foothold and establish itself as a social media necessity. But, its popularity within the first day highlights people’s love of visuals and videos.

Brands could learn a lot from engaging with their customers in this new platform. Encouraging the use of live streaming video in social commerce could give brands a clearer look into their customers lives and the way they use their products.

On the flip side, brands and retailers could utilize live streaming video to build brand authenticity. In terms of social commerce the implications could be very interesting and lucrative. Live-streaming could add an element of authenticity many brands and retailers have a hard time establishing. It’s an opportunity for brands to give their consumers an unedited look into the inner-workings of their companies. In the age of social media, consumers expect more and more from the brands they’re loyal to and authenticity is at the top of the list. Consumers buy from companies they trust and the brands that truly reflect their outlook.

Socially and environmentally conscious brands could stream live videos for a look inside their factories. Start-ups could stream videos of the highly active and entertaining office atmosphere. Beauty and fashion brands could capture unedited videos of their products in use by real customers. And by using the Periscope platform your customers know the videos are truly live and unedited, building credibility, authenticity and ultimately the trust your customers have in you and your brand.

eCommerce News Update: Twitter-Google Team Up, What is Mobile?, and Brian Williams “Misremembers”

3 Reasons On Why You Should Not Ignore Twitter

News update, because we all need more of those. A recap of the news of the week; from the top stories in the ecommerce and social media world, to articles that makes us take a step back and think about the way we approach marketing and how we engage customers.

twitter-promoted-tweets

Twitter and Google Teaming Up Again

Twitter is expanding the reach of its Promoted Tweets in a two-fold effort to boost advertising revenues and expand their core base of engaged users. The move gives brands and retailers the opportunity to significantly expand their reach beyond the already expansive Twitter audience. This broader reach means brands and retailers need to pay even closer attention to their Twitter interactions to ensure they’re getting the best return on their investment. Check out the blog next Wednesday for the next installment of “Effective Use of Social Media for eCommerce” series, featuring tips for strong Twitter engagement.

What is mobile?

With the sales of traditional tablets leveling out, popularity of convertible devices like the Surface Pro 3 growing, and mobile phones rivaling tablets in size, the definition of “mobile” is fluctuating. It is an interesting area to consider in terms of consumer behavior; how, when, and where consumers are using their devices and making purchases. However, what stands true is the variety in mobile devices, platforms, and technologies. What’s critical for retailers is the importance of mobile responsiveness and user experience on these devices. Your commerce site must be responsive to any and all sizes of mobile devices. No matter the definition of mobile or where majority of your revenue is being generated (online or offline); your interactions with customers whether on your site or through social commerce must be possible and optimal on a mobile device.

“Misremembering” – A lesson in the Importance of Trust

Brian Williams’ recent “misremembering” of his experience in the grounding of a military helicopter during the 2003 invasion of Iraq is a lesson in honesty and transparency. Although the story will be quickly replaced by another scandal, his reputation may not recover as quickly. This is an important reminder for retailers and brands in remaining honest and transparent with consumers. According to Lithium 53% of consumers say they won’t buy from a company they don’t trust. And with the widespread growth of user generated content, trust has become more important than ever.

Twitter, Ecommerce, and Screen size – Make it Count

Ladies and Gentlemen, Twitter has taken a turn as far as what users see on their feeds. The annoyance (or preference) of having to click on a link in the middle of a tweet in order to see the image has taken a leap. As of October 2013, the image is now visible on the … Weiterlesen

Is Social Media the Most Popular Kid at School?

Social Media sites are now a staple in our everyday lives, and for teenagers it is no different. They have grown up with Facebook and Twitter, not knowing the world any differently. Teenagers spend about 5 hours a day online and at least 51% of teenagers will log into a social media site at least … Weiterlesen

How Twitter can Benefit your Business

Twitter is the 2nd largest social networking platform next to facebook and businesses have been flocking to get a piece of this emerging trend of social commerce. When businesses learn how to utilize twitter it can bring a lot of conversion sales and loyalty. One key to utilizing twitter is having your tweets stand out … Weiterlesen

How Businesses can Implement Trust in Social Media

Everyday more and more businesses are making the switch over to social media. Businesses that have made the switch over to these social media network platforms have already acquired many benefits. Some of these benefits include higher influence and awareness with your brand, and growth in engagement with consumers. With benefits there is one key … Weiterlesen

Coming Across Your Message Through Social Media

It’s no secret that having a social media account for your brand and business is not an option but a necessity. With social media having more of an impact it is necessary that you want to convey a message to your audience. Any message that stems from your company represents your brand. Every message you … Weiterlesen

Mistakes your Business should avoid on Twitter

Twitter can be one of the best things that can help your business growth and expansion only if used correctly and accurately. There are certain tips which are of utmost importance when you talk about your business on Twitter, as what you post and share can make or break your business reputation online and offline. … Weiterlesen

Twitter Brand Pages

Twitter Brand Pages

Taking a leap out of Facebook and Google+ books Twitter has launched its new brand pages and I am sure that most of the brands by now would have started making a note of all the features that Twitter has to offer to market. 2102 seems to draw forward a big battle among the top … Weiterlesen

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