Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Living in the Twitter End Times

Are we living in the Twitter end times?

I don't mean to imply that Twitter will cease to exist any time soon. It may well hobble on, broken and vanquished, like Yahoo or AOL, forever; and like AOL, it may well find a loving foster home (or caregiver organization that can suck the lifeblood out of its marrow before kicking it into the ditch, as the case may be).

What I mean to imply by "end times" is that Twitter has long since peaked in popularity and is now clearly on a difficult path, a trajectory of travail. Dick Costolo has had almost two years (since the IPO) to turn Twitter, the public corporation, into a money-making business. That effort has failed. The company continues to burn through $50 million a month (in net losses) while struggling to keep its user numbers above 300 million. Meanwhile, over a billion people have tried Twitter, and most of them have moved on.

Ben Thompson gives a good summary of Twitter's problems in his blog post of 29 April 2015. He points out:
Twitter’s MAU [monthly active user] numbers are not necessarily what they seem, particularly from an advertising perspective. The company disclosed last year that 14% of its MAUs never visit Twitter’s website or apps; rather, these users have connected 3rd-party applications and websites that don’t display Twitter ads; for example, you can log into Twitter from Instagram in order to post a link to a photo. Moreover, that number doubled over the previous year, a stark contrast to Facebook’s 5% figure. Worse, a sizable portion of those users may be lapsed completely; according to Twitter approximately 8.5% of MAUs are due to applications that automatically ping Twitter without any user involvement.
One example of such an application was iOS 7 Safari: in Twitter’s 2014 4Q results the company blamed its slowing user growth numbers on iOS 8, which ended Safari’s practice of pinging Twitter for its Shared Links whether or not the logged-in user ever read that section. The proper interpretation, though, was not that Twitter’s user growth numbers were accidentally and temporarily slowed, but rather that the company had been over-counting MAUs for at least a year. Add in the fact that, according to Twitter, up to 5% of MAUs are likely spam accounts, and it’s fair to wonder just how many people are actually being served ads from Twitter’s advertisers.
The real numbers are probably far worse than Ben Thompson is saying. The idea that only 5% of users are fakes, bots, or scammers is ludicrous; it's far more likely to be north of 10%. As I reported last month, 24% of CEO Dick Costolo's own Twitter followers are abandoned accounts, bots, fakes, or otherwise defective.

Also, there's the problem of duplicate accounts. Many of Twitter's most active users (including advertisers, of course; for example, Google) have multiple accounts. One spammer recently created over 700,000 individual accounts.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo looked haggard as he tried to
explain the data leak that allowed last quarter's results
to leak to the outside world prematurely, on 28 April.
And then there's the bot problem. People buy and sell bot-created "Twitter users" by the thousands now.

And then there's the "adult content" problem. If you're an advertiser, you probably don't want your Promoted tweet to land next to a spread-eagle shemale selfie, or other explicit material.

The problems go on and on, but the main problem is: advertising on Twitter doesn't seem to be making financial sense for a lot of advertisers. This is a hard issue to dodge, because with modern analytics, it's possible for an advertiser to calculate and track, to the penny, what a customer acquisition costs. Because of the Google-inspired auction system used by Twitter, a single click on a link or Order button can cost an advertiser as much as $20. Or maybe it's "only" $2. But the point is, either way, that cost gets tracked, and ROI gets calculated, and at the end of the day there's absolutely no uncertainty around the question of whether a given Twitter ad campaign was successful or not.

If you read Ben Thompson's analysis (scroll down to his "Worrying Signs From Advertisers"), it doesn't sound like advertisers are seeing proper ROI.

And then there's TWTR, the stock.

Ryan Terpstra, founder of Selerity
Twitter's quarterly results famously leaked to the outside world shortly before the close of trading on April 28 (results were broadcast via the Twitter account of data-mining company Selerity), sending the stock down almost 20%. The stock had been trading at $51 before the leak. It was at $37 three days later and still hasn't recovered. Around $8 billion of market cap vanished. What was a $32 billion (market cap) company is now a $24 billion company.

For Twitter stock to come back, the company (barring a sudden merger, massive layoffs, or change of management) would have to do two things. At the next earnings announcement, the company would have to show evidence of a turn toward profitability; and it would have to show evidence of a pickup in user numbers. A failure on either one of those items will result in the stock going down. (A profit alone won't save the stock. A growing user base speaks to future earnings prospects. That's what Wall St. cares about; that's how the stock is valued.)

I expect to see two things happen, in the coming weeks.

First, more ads in more timelines. Costolo and his CFO, Anthony Noto (who has taken over Marketing), are probably going "off the rate card" right now with big advertisers, cutting special deals right and left. They know they have to bring more money to the bottom line. That's a no-brainer.

The second thing I expect to see is some kind of purge of the user base (maybe beginning with the much-anticipated porn purge) to remove bots, fakes, inactives, and undesirables. This will stir up a lot of dust and allow Costolo to do a reset on user numbers. "Sure our numbers are down this quarter!" he'll be able to boast. "Of course they are. We purged the list!" It will be impossible to know, meanwhile, what the true dropoff in users was, for the quarter. Attention will focus on earnings-per-share. Or so Costolo will be hoping. [UPDATE: Dick Costolo announced on June 11, 2015 that he would step down effective July 1.]

I don't think these things will be enough. I've talked to operators of several mid-size Twitter accounts (50K followers) and they agree with me that engagement numbers seem to be going soft. One of them said: "Six months ago, I had 36,000 followers and could count on 3,000 impressions per tweet. Now I have over 40,000 followers and I'm lucky if a tweet gets past 2,400 impressions." Another person asked me if I thought Twitter was throttling traffic, the way Facebook now does. ("I doubt it," I said.)

Those of us who've been with Twitter a long time (since 2009, for me) know that Twitter is its own peculiar beast; it shouldn't be compared to Facebook or other social sites. And that's true, but it's also true that in any product space, there's rarely room for more than two players at the very top (Coke and Pepsi, for example), and if it comes down to Facebook being Coke, the only Pepsi that makes sense is LinkedIn, which (unlike Twitter) is all-business, with great demographics and a great story for advertisers. If advertisers decide to write only two checks a month in the social space, one will be to Facebook. The other won't be to Twitter. And to that extent, we may be living in the Twitter end times.

 ☙ ❧

Have you checked out my free book Mental Health Myths Debunked? Tons of info, tons of live links, lots of straight talk about depression, meds, therapy, psychiatry, mental health trends, statistics, and more. And you know me, I call bullshit on bogus ideas (then give URLs to the actual data). The idea that antidepressants take weeks to do anything? Myth. Most people benefit from antidepressants? Myth. Antidepressants separate from placebo in clinical trials? Largely myth. (Half the trials show separation. Half don't.) Electroshock therapy is safe and effective? Bigtime myth. ECT is dangerous and consent forms lie. But don't take my word for it: Read the science for yourself. It's all laid out (with references) in the book. Download ePub or PDF now at NoiseTrade. Tell a friend.

☙ ❧ 
 
Have you added your name to our mailing list?

Also please visit HackYourDepression.com when you have a chance, and share that link with someone you know who might be suffering from anxiety or depression.  





79 comments:

  1. I have been a participant with Twitter for the last couple of years! In that time I've spend thousands of dollars buying followers! My biggest complaint is that even though you spend thousands of dollars buying followers, the numbers just don't seem to increase! For example, if my account gains 100- followers that day, 75- or more unfollow! It's like taking step forward and three back! you just can't seem to get ahead! People are calling Twitter nothing more than a scam!

    ReplyDelete

  2. شركة نقل عفش بالرياض وجدة والدمام والخبر والجبيل اولقطيف والاحساء والرياض وجدة ومكة المدينة المنورة والخرج والطائف وخميس مشيط وبجدة افضل شركة نقل عفش بجدة نعرضها مجموعة الفا لنقل العفش بمكة والخرج والقصيم والطائف وتبوك وخميس مشيط ونجران وجيزان وبريدة والمدينة المنورة وينبع افضل شركات نقل الاثاث بالجبيل والطائف وخميس مشيط وبريدة وعنيزو وابها ونجران المدينة وينبع تبوك والقصيم الخرج حفر الباطن والظهران
    شركة نقل عفش بجدة
    شركة نقل عفش بالمدينة المنورة
    شركة نقل اثاث بالرياض
    شركة نقل عفش بالدمام
    شركة نقل عفش بالطائف
    شركة نقل عفش بمكة
    شركة نقل عفش بينبع

    ReplyDelete
  3. Attend The Data Science Courses From ExcelR. Practical Data Science Courses Sessions With Assured Placement Support From Experienced Faculty. ExcelR Offers The Data Science Courses.
    Data Science Courses

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hello Everyone !

    USA SSN Leads/Fullz available, along with Driving License/ID Number with good connectivity.

    All SSN's are Tested & Verified.

    **DETAILS IN LEADS/FULLZ**

    ->FULL NAME
    ->SSN
    ->DATE OF BIRTH
    ->DRIVING LICENSE NUMBER
    ->ADDRESS WITH ZIP
    ->PHONE NUMBER, EMAIL
    ->EMPLOYEE DETAILS

    *Price for SSN lead $2
    *You can ask for sample before any deal
    *If you buy in bulk, will give you discount
    *Sampling is just for serious buyers

    ->Hope for the long term business
    ->You can buy for your specific states too

    **Contact 24/7**

    Whatsapp > +923172721122

    Email > leads.sellers1212@gmail.com

    Telegram > @leadsupplier

    ICQ > 752822040

    ReplyDelete
  5. Attend The Data Science Courses From ExcelR. Practical Data Science Courses Sessions With Assured Placement Support From Experienced Faculty. ExcelR Offers The Data Science Courses.
    Data Science Courses

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am sure that this is going to help a lot of individuals. Keep up the good work. It is highly convincing and I enjoyed going through the entire blog.
    Best Institute for Data Science in Hyderabad

    ReplyDelete
  7. Actually I read it yesterday but I had some thoughts about it and today I wanted to read it again because it is very well written.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I am glad to discover this page. I have to thank you for the time I spent on this especially great reading !! I really liked each part and also bookmarked you for new information on your site.

    Data Science Course in India

    ReplyDelete
  9. If your looking for Online Illinois license plate sticker renewals then you have need to come to the right place.We offer the fastest Illinois license plate sticker renewals in the state.
    business analytics course

    ReplyDelete
  10. I am glad to discover this page. I have to thank you for the time I spent on this especially great reading !! I really liked each part and also bookmarked you for new information on your site.

    Data Science Course in India

    ReplyDelete
  11. Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.

    Data Science Course

    ReplyDelete
  12. This is a wonderful article, Given so much info in it, These type of articles keeps the users interest in the website, and keep on sharing more ... good luck.
    360DigiTMG ai course in ECIL

    ReplyDelete
  13. Europe's biggest auto parts manufacturer and supplier. TUV Approved, European standart, produced with advanced technology, high quality roof rack, 3d floor mats, cross bar, mercedes parts and bmw parts produce in Europe, ship to all over the world. We offer dropshipping and wholesale opportunities. If you want to work with us on trim sets, door sills, car floor mats, chrome accessories, classic car restoration parts you can always contact us from social media and contact addresses or simple call. Classic Mercedes Parts Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Actually I read it yesterday but I had some ideas about it and today I wanted to read it again because it is so well written.
    Data Science Course in Vadodara

    ReplyDelete
  15. Very informative content and intresting blog post.Data science course in Nashik

    ReplyDelete
  16. If you don"t mind proceed with this extraordinary work and I anticipate a greater amount of your magnificent blog entries

    Data Science Course in Mangalore

    ReplyDelete
  17. I am glad to discover this page. I have to thank you for the time I spent on this especially great reading !! I really liked each part and also bookmarked you for new information on your site.
    Data Science Course in Chennai

    ReplyDelete

  18. Very nice blog and articles. I am really very happy to visit your blog. Now I am finding which I actually want. I check your blog everyday and try to learn something from your blog. Thank you and waiting for your new post.
    business analytics course

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi, I looked at most of your posts. This article is probably where I got the most useful information for my research. Thanks for posting, we can find out more about this. Do you know of any other websites on this topic?
    Data Science Course in Jaipur

    ReplyDelete
  20. Very informative content and intresting blog post.Data science course in Thiruvananthapuram

    ReplyDelete
  21. This post is extremely easy to peruse and acknowledge without forgetting about any subtleties. Incredible work!
    data scientist training and placement

    ReplyDelete
  22. I was browsing the internet for information and found your blog. I am impressed with the information you have on this blog.
    Data Science Course in Nagpur

    ReplyDelete
  23. I like viewing web sites which comprehend the price of delivering the excellent useful resource free of charge. I truly adored reading your posting. Thank you!

    Data Science Course in Trichy

    ReplyDelete
  24. Really impressed! Everything is a very open and very clear clarification of the issues. It contains true facts. Your website is very valuable. Thanks for sharing.
    Data Science Course in Lucknow

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thanks for posting the best information and the blog is very informative.Data science course in Faridabad

    ReplyDelete
  26. Very good message. I stumbled across your blog and wanted to say that I really enjoyed reading your articles. Anyway, I will subscribe to your feed and hope you post again soon.
    Data Analytics course in Vadodara

    ReplyDelete
  27. I was very pleased to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.

    Data Science Course in Chandigarh

    ReplyDelete
  28. Thanks for posting the best information and the blog is very informative.Data science course in Faridabad

    ReplyDelete
  29. Thanks for posting the best information and the blog is very informative.Data science course in Varanasi

    ReplyDelete
  30. i am glad to discover this page : i have to thank you for the time i spent on this especially great reading !! i really liked each part and also bookmarked you for new information on your site.
    best data science courses in bangalore

    ReplyDelete
  31. I want to leave a little comment to support and wish you the best of luck.we wish you the best of luck in all your blogging enedevors.
    data analytics course in bangalore

    ReplyDelete
  32. I Want to leave a little comment to support and wish you the best of luck.we wish you the best of luck in all your blogging endeavors.
    business analytics course in bangalore

    ReplyDelete
  33. Thanks for posting the best information and the blog is very helpful.Data science course in Varanasi

    ReplyDelete
  34. I am glad to discover this page. I have to thank you for the time I spent on this especially great reading !! I really liked each part and also bookmarked you for new information on your site.
    Data Science Training in Chennai

    ReplyDelete
  35. i am glad to discover this page : i have to thank you for the time i spent on this especially great reading !! i really liked each part and also bookmarked you for new information on your site.
    data scientist course in bangalore

    ReplyDelete
  36. I Want to leave a little comment to support and wish you the best of luck.we wish you the best of luck in all your blogging endeavors.
    data science certification in banagalore

    ReplyDelete
  37. I want to leave a little comment to support and wish you the best of luck.we wish you the best of luck in all your blogging enedevors.
    data science institute in bangalore

    ReplyDelete
  38. Stupendous blog huge applause to the blogger and hoping you to come up with such an extraordinary content in future. Surely, this post will inspire many aspirants who are very keen in gaining the knowledge. Expecting many more contents with lot more curiosity further.

    data science in bangalore

    ReplyDelete
  39. Tremendous blog quite easy to grasp the subject since the content is very simple to understand. Obviously, this helps the participants to engage themselves in to the subject without much difficulty. Hope you further educate the readers in the same manner and keep sharing the content as always you do.

    data analytics courses in bangalore with placement

    ReplyDelete
  40. Great post i must say and thanks for the information. Education is definitely a sticky subject. However, is still among the leading topics of our time. I appreciate your post and look forward to more.
    Data Science Course in Bangalore

    ReplyDelete
  41. I like viewing web sites which comprehend the price of delivering the excellent useful resource free of charge. I truly adored reading your posting. Thank you!
    best data science institute in Hyderabad

    ReplyDelete
  42. I just got to this amazing site not long ago. I was actually captured with the piece of resources you have got here. Big thumbs up for making such wonderful blog page!
    data analytics course in bangalore

    ReplyDelete
  43. i am glad to discover this page : i have to thank you for the time i spent on this especially great reading !! i really liked each part and also bookmarked you for new information on your site.
    artificial intelligence course in chennai

    ReplyDelete
  44. I am a new user of this site, so here I saw several articles and posts published on this site, I am more interested in some of them, hope you will provide more information on these topics in your next articles.
    data analytics training in bangalore

    ReplyDelete
  45. i am glad to discover this page : i have to thank you for the time i spent on this especially great reading !! i really liked each part and also bookmarked you for new information on your site.
    artificial intelligence course in chennai

    ReplyDelete
  46. i am glad to discover this page : i have to thank you for the time i spent on this especially great reading !! i really liked each part and also bookmarked you for new information on your site.
    artificial intelligence course in chennai

    ReplyDelete
  47. I am glad to discover this page. I have to thank you for the time I spent on this especially great reading !! I really liked each part and also bookmarked you for new information on your site.
    Data Science Course Syllabus

    ReplyDelete
  48. I want to leave a little comment to support and wish you the best of luck.we wish you the best of luck in all your blogging enedevors.
    data science training in chennai

    ReplyDelete
  49. This post is very simple to read and appreciate without leaving any details out. Great work!
    digital marketing courses in hyderabad with placement

    ReplyDelete
  50. Good Post! Thank you so much for sharing this pretty post, it was so good to read and useful to improve my knowledge as updated one, keep blogging.

    DevOps Training in Hyderabad

    ReplyDelete
  51. It is perfect chance to make a couple of game plans for the future and the opportunity has arrived to be sprightly. I've scrutinized this post and if I may I have the option to need to suggest you some interesting things or recommendations. Perhaps you could create next articles insinuating this article. I have to examine more things about it!
    data scientist training and placement

    ReplyDelete
  52. Through this post, I realize that your great information in playing with all the pieces was exceptionally useful. I advise this is the primary spot where I discover issues I've been scanning for. You have a smart yet alluring method of composing.
    data scientist training and placement

    ReplyDelete
  53. I am glad to discover this page. I have to thank you for the time I spent on this especially great reading !! I really liked each part and also bookmarked you for new information on your site.
    Data Science Course Syllabus

    ReplyDelete
  54. I am glad to discover this page. I have to thank you for the time I spent on this especially great reading !! I really liked each part and also bookmarked you for new information on your site.
    Data Science Course in Hyderabad

    ReplyDelete
  55. I finally found great post here.I will get back here. I just added your blog to my bookmark sites. thanks.Quality posts is the crucial to invite the visitors to visit the web page, that's what this web page is providing.data science course
    data scientist training in hyderabad

    ReplyDelete
  56. I want to leave a little comment to support and wish you the best of luck.we wish you the best of luck in all your blogging enedevors.
    aws training in hyderabad

    ReplyDelete
  57. I am glad to discover this page. I have to thank you for the time I spent on this especially great reading !! I really liked each part and also bookmarked you for new information on your site.
    Data Science Training in Chennai

    ReplyDelete
  58. Really nice and interesting post. I was looking for this kind of information and enjoyed reading this one. Keep posting.
    data scientist course in hyderabad

    ReplyDelete
  59. Viably, the article is actually the best point on this library related issue. I fit in with your choices and will enthusiastically foresee your next updates.data scientist training in hyderabad

    ReplyDelete
  60. I am impressed by the useful information on this site. It is very helpful and makes me wonder why I didn't think of that!
    Data Science Training in Hyderabad
    Data Science Course in Hyderabad

    ReplyDelete
  61. I’m a huge fan of informative blogs because they help us become more knowledgeable about the goings-on in the world around us. Please keep writing articles like this. I really enjoy them and feel smarter every time I read one.
    Data Science Training in Hyderabad
    Data Science Course in Hyderabad

    ReplyDelete
  62. Your blog is filled with unique good articles! I was impressed how well you express your thoughts. You have a communicable and well-articulated writings . I enjoyed reading all of them.
    AWS Training in Hyderabad
    AWS Course in Hyderabad

    ReplyDelete
  63. I want to leave a little comment to support and wish you the best of luck.we wish you the best of luck in all your blogging enedevors.
    business analytics courses

    ReplyDelete
  64. Hi, I log on to your new stuff like every week. Your humoristic style is witty, keep it up
    data scientist training and placement

    ReplyDelete
  65. I was actually browsing the internet for certain information, accidentally came across your blog found it to be very impressive. I am elated to go with the information you have provided on this blog, eventually, it helps the readers whoever goes through this blog. Hoping you continue the spirit to inspire the readers and amaze them with your fabulous content.

    Data Science Course in Faridabad

    ReplyDelete
  66. I am a new user of this site, so here I saw several articles and posts published on this site, I am more interested in some of them, will provide more information on these topics in future articles.
    Data Science Course in Bangalore

    ReplyDelete
  67. Thanks for posting the best information and the blog is very good.digital marketing institute in hyderabad

    ReplyDelete
  68. Mind-blowing went amazed with the content posted. Containing the information in its unique format with fully loaded valid info, which ultimately grabs the folks to go through its content. Hope you to keep up maintaining the standards in posting the content further too.

    Data Science Course in Bangalore

    ReplyDelete

Add a comment. Registration required because trolls.