Twitter Struggles to Sell Itself

Nobody Understands Twitter Any More

Twitter has a problem, and I’m not talking about the abusive trolls who inhabit this particular social networking site. They ARE a problem in need of fixing, but a bigger problem for Twitter is its stalled userbase, which seems to have plateaued at just over the 300 million mark. That’s a lot of people, but it’s a fraction of the 1.6 billion people who are currently using Facebook.

Twitter identified the problem several years ago, realizing that a vast swathe of the online population simply doesn’t understand what Twitter is all about. So Twitter released ads designed to educate and inform non-users about the benefits of using Twitter. They failed, spectacularly, and the userbase continued to grow at a snail’s pace. But Twitter is now trying again.

According to a Twitter Blog post, the company conducted some research into how people perceive Twitter. And while it found 90% recognized the brand, the majority of non-users still don’t quite get Twitter. They think of it as a social network for friends and family, a Facebook Lite, if you will. They also think they’ll need to tweet every day, which is patently not true.

So, Twitter is embarking on a new advertising campaign designed to help non-users understand Twitter once and for all, based on the simple adage, “See What’s Happening”. It seeks to make it clear that you don’t have to tweet to get something out of Twitter, and that it’s really about discovering what’s happening, both to the people you follow, and to the wider world at large.


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