My life one month ago:
8:30AM: I walk into work
9:00AM: I have read the Skimm, responded to last night’s text messages, and checked the news via various newsletters, AdAge, and CNN.com.
My life now:
8:30AM: I walk into work
9:00AM: I have read the Skimm, responded to last night’s text messages, and checked the news via various newsletters, AdAge, and CNN.com. I have also logged onto Twitter, and if I’m in a good mood, favorited the onslaught of Tweets my boss posted the night before.
Introducing my boss, the largest Twitter enthusiast I know.
Additional information about my boss: he partakes in no other forms of social media, he is my mother’s age, and if you don’t favorite a tweet he deems engaging, he will halt a meeting to ask you why. My boss is Twitter’s dream user.
During games (I work in sports), he tweets out updates intermixed with his personal opinions approximately every 5 minutes. When he is entertaining clients, selfies are posted for the world to see. Every morning, he tweets out articles and news updates. In fact, if I don’t acknowledge he has tweeted out an update, I will receive an email with the Tweet attached. Do we now understand why enthusiast is underlined above?
This article is a funny blurb about my boss (who yes, was informed I would be writing this), but it is mainly about Twitter and the platform’s relevance in our social media filled lives. Where does this 140 -character messaging platform fit in when we have Facebook, texting, and Snapchat to communicate with everyone around us? Why did it take my boss’s commentary and activism on the platform to get me to finally start logging in? Social media is a competitive landscape, and I think 140 characters from your friends is a hard draw compared to Instagram (words + pictures), Facebook (the ruler of social media), and actual blogs/websites.
Up until very recently, Twitter was not a part of my daily- or sometimes even weekly- routine. I clearly like to ramble with my writing-, and Twitter isn’t a good match for ramblers. Some consider Twitter a good news platform. When it comes to my consumption, I would either choose to live in an ignorant bubble (see past articles for explanation) or count reading the Skimm as consuming all of the news I needed to know. Twitter was certainly not where I would expect to receive any kind of political news, and I found that unless I was tracking a sports game- the platform was utterly useless. Another use of Twitter is entertainment- to read witty blurbs about the lives going on around you. Unfortunately, my friends are as un-witty as I am on the platform. This makes checking my timeline, well, a waste of time.
All of this being said, Twitter was a close to non-existent part of my life up until a few weeks ago. When I started using Twitter due to my bosses prodding, I started to wonder how the platform stacked up in comparison to other social media sites. It turns out that my Twitter usage is the norm when it comes to Millennials. Only 37% of those 18-29 are on Twitter, compared to 87% who use Facebook and 53% who use Instagram. Of the 37% who use Twitter, only 36% log in daily!! For the 87% of people who use Facebook-70% of those users log in daily. These figures are STARKLY different than Twitter usage numbers.
Twitter’s recent layoffs are certainly sad, but are they unexpected? I’m not so sure. If a social media platform isn’t attracting at least 50 percent of the millennial population, can we expect it to succeed? Furthermore I think it will be very interesting to see if Twitter users are the online-shopping type. Twitter plans to increase its revenue through inserting links that can take a user immediately to the purchase portal for advertised products. While this is a great idea for a platform looking to increase its profits, I do have my doubts that Twitter users are the type of people who online shop.
All in all, I must admit Twitter is now very much a part of my daily social media routine. I now have lists where I follow sports and advertising accounts to help me with my job. I even tweet every other day or so, which is largely increased from my once a week tweet before. So next time you log on, be sure to follow @forealpharrellz- my account won’t be nearly as disappointing as it has been in the past. But if you want a truly inspiring Twitter account to follow- @ArnoldSchreer is your man. As for the future of the platform itself, I think the online shopping habits of users will be the biggest tell for its success.