Twitter has evolved from a niche 140 character SMS-like platform to a global social media service, featuring embedded images, video and live feeds. It has become a “go-to” place for more than 1.3 billion registered users who share their experiences with the world.
Whereas most social platforms play upon some real world or topical connection, Twitter became perhaps the only one that promoted connections between people who are only loosely and superficially related.
“Over time this has turned the platform into the equivalent of a magazine newsstand where people can browse without really looking, or caring where the content has actually come from, and yet gain insight into what is relevant and top-of-mind on any given subject,” said David F. Giannetto, author of Big Social Mobile.
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Besides providing the opportunity to share the information with followers, Twitter plays a huge role in many things: from helping to organize social movements such as #BlackLivesMatter to managing communication during natural disasters like earthquakes and tornados.
“Twitter also has an increasingly important role in world politics,” said Dhiraj Murthy, reader of sociology at University of London and author of “Twitter: Social Communication in the Twitter Age.“If we look at the coverage of the U.S. presidential primaries, for example, it is regularly invoked. From tweets by everyday users and trending hashtags to images circulating on the platform, micro-blogging serves some role in not only disseminating political messages, but also in gaging public opinion on issues, candidates or gaffes.”
However, despite the service seemingly being so valuable to our society, recent reports confirm that Twitter has lost over $2 billion since the day it was launched and may never be profitable. Indeed, in March, the company stated that its operating costs will continue to rise for the foreseeable future.
“Given that Twitter must continue to grow its community, content or commerce to survive, it has few options,” said Giannetto. “I would suggest the company rethink its role as a consumer-to-consumer only platform and switch to the platform of choice for social consumers to interact with companies during service activities. But the most likely outcome would be the purchase by some other, larger company that felt it could round out its own platform by integrating Twitter-like communication within.”
He added: “As much as I would love Twitter to remain relevant for 10 more years, it’s an uphill battle. It could also very easily lose its social favor and fade from popular culture.”
In any case, this platform will remain with us for at least several years. Experts predict that in the future it will definitely be developing and bringing more features for the user’s pleasure.
“It is likely to attempt a more seamless video and image sharing and live feed experience. It is also possible that the service will develop its data analytics service like Amazon,” Murthy concluded.
- By Dmitry Belyaev