Social media is a fascinating phenomenon. It can create careers, destroy careers, help you live newsworthy stories as they happen, spark new startups, make friends and open your eyes to alternative perspectives that you didn’t see before. Perhaps one of the most amazing sites is Twitter. This real-time platform is ever-changing as an amusement and tool among other things.
So, Twitter went public
Startups all have different reasons for going public. Some of it is more about ego than necessarily business. Some have to pay their investors. Some want to be acquired. Some want money for bigger plans. It seems that Twitter is is the latter category.
It’s a business. It has to make money.
Clearly, Twitter has to find ways to make money. So far, it has between sponsored tweets, data licensing and promoting certain accounts. If you’ve noticed certain brands, new releases of movies or names showing up in your stream when you don’t follow them, you’ve seen how Twitter gets its revenues.
It has changed the world
Twitter has changed the world in a number of ways. People witnessed (and continue to witness) historical events. Remember how people’s experience of the Arab Spring was tweeted in real-time? Aside from the news stories, there are countless stories of how people have connected with one another for any number of reasons. Connecting people was something Jack Dorsey wanted to do An interesting post in Fast Company notes how storytelling has been changed despite the brief moment that each message lasts in front of someone’s eyes. For myself, I’ve seen business and personal opportunities crop up simply because I had a conversation with someone. This very post exists because a group of people on Twitter want to go a bit further than the soundbite and look at business ideas while still communicating in 140 characters.
This is the challenge Twitter faces now. There is an unknown future and lots of possibilities. Perhaps part of the future lies in the custom timelines. There are an assortment of predictions in this Mashable post ranging from advertisement to selling hashtags. In a New York magazine post by Kevin Roose, the suggestion is that Twitter get into massification. Simply, make Twitter more attractive and usable to more people. According to the San Jose Mercury News, Twitter will be looking for more acquisitions. And then there are the Twitter cards, app installations or greater use of paid related content or links.
It’s early days
At the moment, it is uncertain what could be next for Twitter and its users. It may be that Twitter loses some of its character as it tries to be more attractive to more people. There are risks involved with devising new revenue streams. The users may be stakeholders in Twitter but their importance may dim in view of making shareholders happy.
What do you think? Share your thoughts with us on the Twitter chat, #Kaizenbiz on Friday, November 15, 2013 at 5pm GMT/12pm ET/9am PT as we look at what is next for Twitter now that it has gone public.
Why did Twitter go public?
To what degree could innovation decline at Twitter since going public?
What other ways could Twitter grow revenue?
How can Twitter maintain a positive relationship with its users when it has to make money for its shareholders?
What is your forecast for Twitter’s future?