John Hearne of the Irish Examiner calls out the obvious in his recent article, “Will the Twitter bubble burst?”
It’s a great read as Hearne tells the story of the early days of the social behemoth and its evolution into the biggest thing on the planet (hyperbole ours).
Hearne points out that while Twitter has only been around for seven years, “… it has become pervasive; every other news medium references tweets throughout the day or solicits information, news and views via Twitter. It has become the means by which news is broken; the Boston police tweeted the news of the arrest of the marathon bombing suspect earlier this year.”
Twitter is now a publicly traded company, choosing to do business on the NYSE instead of the tech-heavy NASDAQ, and is clearly taking lessons in how NOT to go public from Facebook, no doubt, as Hearne points out in his article.
Still, the fact is Facebook was already making money when their IPO tanked. And Twitter is still operating at a loss. Can they beat the simple fact that investors don’t care about Tweets, they care about cash?
“The problem is that pervasive as Twitter has become, most of us don’t use it. The consensus view is that the company has found all its early adaptors and to unlock real growth, it has to find a way into the mainstream,” writes Hearne.
The other issue that remains is how to monetize through advertising without alienating the crucial core user group that is in it for the love of the medium. There’s lots of idea out there for bridging the gap and making Twitter profitable, but as yet they remain unproven – content aggregation, native advertising, sponsored content, third-party delivery channels, and other ideas we can’t wrap our heads around enough to even label.
It will be interesting to watch how the Twitter execs handle this delicate time, now that 1,600 of their employees are millionaires (on paper) and the world’s money handlers are watching.