October 3, 2013

"Twitter pulled back the curtain on its $1 billion initial public offering, revealing that the social network is still unprofitable."

"In its first public financial statement, Twitter said it lost $79.4 million on $316.9 million in sales in 2012. The company is on track for an even steeper loss in 2013, but sales are also rapidly increasing."

Email from CNN.

I wonder whether Twitter is on the upswing or decline. Decline, apparently, if you look at losses. But what is happening with readers? I feel like there are a lot of people talking, but not necessarily because they have anything to say, and fewer people are really reading. I used to do Twitter, and occasionally I participate there, but I think it's mostly a place for celebrities to be followed, for journalists to be forced to show their faces, and for some interesting things relating to politics in places that are not the United States.

23 comments:

cubanbob said...

Will Twitter turn out to be another Amazon or Netflix or a dotcom bust?

Robert Zaleski said...

It's also a place to publicly complain. And some companies do watch that, so it is more effective than complaining elsewhere.

But I agree, outside of those two cases, it's not very useful.

SteveR said...

It seems a lot of people, TV and Radio personalities and celebrities spend a lot of time promoting their Twitter addresses as a place to communicate. I think the market is overvalued. Who has time to follow a lot of people, or cares? Wimpy name any way.

Ann Althouse said...

One thing I noticed is that I got virtually no traffic to my blog when I tweeted my own posts.

Twitter doesn't drive traffic to the website, I'm guessing, based on my own experience.

The actual tweets are pretty worthless, both in content and commercially (for the writer).

Twitter may still be good for other purposes, but I don't think major (or alternative) media is getting value.

Ben Calvin said...

It is a very useful ticker-tape. If you chose who you follow well, you can get a stream of good comments related to things that are happening right now, like news and sporting events. That's what makes it useful to me.

YoungHegelian said...

The true purpose of Twitter is to allow the creative destruction of the marketplace to work its magic on celebrities.

Anyone who thinks that the masses eagerly await whatever 140 character soundbite of wisdom happens to arise in his febrile brain doesn't just court Hubris, he's already married to her with a house & kids in the suburbs.

Twitter will ultimately end more careers than drugs and alcohol.

cubanbob said...

Twitter will ultimately end more careers than drugs and alcohol."

Ditto that with Facebook. You really nailed it.

Fritz said...

Twitter, losing millions, 140 characters at a time.

Carol said...

Ben gets it exactly right, it's a place to follow breaking news, or at least breaking perceptions. It's not really a place for Everyman to pontificate.

Though it's fun to talk back to celebs sometimes. Even if they ignore you, other people see it.

cubanbob said...

Twitter doesn't drive traffic to the website, I'm guessing, based on my own experience."

Interesting marketing observation. I suppose every blog has its style and it's 'clientele' and yours isn't really suited for Twitter.

Paddy O said...

It's useful for networking, depending on the industry. I have it linked to my facebook page, so my tweets become status updates.

Again, mostly for networking and mass updating of what's going on.

It's not a huge influence, but can get attention, and those of us who are needing to make connections for employment find it useful. Not essential, except for the people who rise in academia through their networking.

It's very big among church leaders and theorists.

Paddy O said...

Better the masses tweet than everyone starts their own blog. Remember when blogging was the thing, so many bad blogs out there.

YoungHegelian said...

@PaddyO,

It's very big among church leaders and theorists.

Oh, that I can just imagine! "It's HOMO-ousion not HOMOI-ousion, you dumb-ass heretical fuckwit!"

gadfly said...

If "there are a lot of people talking, but not necessarily because they have anything to say" is a valid criteria by which we can measure success, then Mark Zuckerberg would most certainly be be a pauper.

Biff said...

I've found twitter to be useful for academic and technical conferences and conventions. Attendees will often use a conference hashtag to engage in a public backchannel that can rival the best blog comment threads, and it can be a useful newsfeed for people who aren't in attendance. I attend a fair number of conferences each year, and I've gotten more value out of them, both socially and professionally, because of twitter.

Henry said...

Please let it die. Let it die the death of Geocities.

Lauderdale Vet said...

Whenever there's breaking news, Twitter reigns. I find out what's happening much faster than blogs or news outlets.

It also makes it easy to reach out to people somewhat anonymously. I'd much rather tweet a reply to my representative than comment on their blog. I still mind my manners, but at least I'm not giving up my metadata directly.

I subscribe (follow) to an interesting and diverse group of people, and I like the link sharing that goes on. They make it easier to keep my finger on the pulse of things.

So yeah, I kind of like twitter.

@LauderdaleVet

Lauderdale Vet said...

Also, Biff is spot on. Conferences and Twitter, very useful. Even for the ones you miss.

heyboom said...

Talking with my three daughters and their friends (18-22 yrs) it seems they've all changed over to Tumblr and Vine. Twitter may have simply lost a large portion of that demographic.

tim maguire said...

I still don't get twitter.

How do people follow hundreds or thousands of twitterers twittering mostly meaningless navel gazing? How do you cut through all that to see the few tweets that have content worth reading?

And yet, somebody does. Otherwise, twitchy couldn't exist.

Larry J said...

Lauderdale Vet said...

Whenever there's breaking news, Twitter reigns. I find out what's happening much faster than blogs or news outlets.


Lately, I've noticed that speed of information seems inversely proportional to the accuracy of that information. Knowing wrong stuff first isn't really very useful. Step back, take your breath and find out what actually happened and then report it.

Nah, never happen.

Lauderdale Vet said...

Larry J, the stuff I saw on twitter was more reliable than the stuff I got from the MSM. People seemed to delight in cross-checking each other, the MSM, etc. There was an awareness that most of the early information from the MSM was going to be bogus, etc.

Also, perhaps you assume I believe everything I read. I just appreciate people who link and who give me references that I can use to feel solid in forming my own opinions.

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