I wish Twitter’s CEO was still Dick Costolo, because it’s so much more fun to say (and type) than Jack Dorsey.
Anyway, the CEO chair at Twitter is probably feeling a bit hot these days. Their stock price just dipped below the IPO price (which, for the uninitiated, is a quite bad thing). The good news is that I know how to fix Twitter!
Seriously, though, I do. I recently became more active on Twitter as part of a marketing effort for my new podcast (not launched yet, details in an upcoming post) and as an outside observer who’s using the platform the to-do list for Twitter management seems insanely obvious:
- Stop trying to be a mainstream platform. Twitter is not Facebook. That is a good thing! Not everyone and their aunt and their grandma is ever going to use Twitter actively. Accept it.
- Embrace your power users. Twitter’s power users are the most influential members of our society: journalists, politicians, and celebrities. Make it easier for these people to share their content outside the Twitter eco-system, and make it way easier for them to measure the impact of their tweets. Also, make it easier for everyone to understand how influential a given user is! That score is more nuanced than raw follower count, but far more valuable for a platform for which the core currency is social influence.
- Make it easier to become a power user. Twitter’s most important power features (eg. lists) are buried in the interface, probably because they are still foolishly trying to be a mainstream platform.
- Make it way easier to consume Twitter content. Not everyone and their aunt will use Twitter actively, I said. They still want to read what the Kardashians are doing, though, so make that easy! Fix the abomination of a home page that currently sits at Twitter.com, and make that page laser-focused around discovering new content (without requiring an account!).
The great thing about the above is that it is actually better for the advertising model than the current Twitter approach of treating all users as equal parts consumer/creator. It should also be easier to support technically (a smaller percentage of writes vs. reads would facilitate heavier caching) which might eventually make it possible to reduce operating costs enough to actually turn a profit! That would be a pretty neat trick indeed.