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5 things that Twitter's CEO needs to do now

Sharon Gaudin | Oct. 7, 2015
With Dorsey back at the helm, here are steps he needs to take now

"It's not necessarily user growth," he said. "That's the symptom that's indicative of problems with the service itself. It's not appealing to the mass-market user. It's the way you have to smash your thoughts into 140 characters. It's a public forum, so you're open to reaction from everybody. Some users have a hard time finding value in the information they're seeing on Twitter.

"All those things put together make up a bigger problem than any one individual issue," Blau added. "These are endemic problems with the Twitter service... The Twitter audience seems to be broken into people who log in to look around, and then there are the active tweeters. The lurkers are a large majority. Twitter needs to figure out how they're going to drive the service forward."

3. Does the 140-character limit need to go?

Twitter made its name as the service whose users could communicate with a worldwide audience using only 140 characters.

Want to talk about last night's episode of Homeland? You get 140 characters. Want to talk about political unrest and violence in your country? You too get 140 characters.

Now, some say it may be time for a change.

"It is tough to put your thoughts into 140 characters. People find it restrictive," said Blau. "From what I've seen, it doesn't seem like that is a sacred cow they'll hold onto forever. We might very well see a different style of tweet in the future. But it's more than that. What are the behaviors of that tweet? How can we interact with it? I think we'll see Twitter change the formula of tweets."

4. Dealing with those hot upstarts

Within the last month, Instagram surpassed Twitter in number of active monthly users.

Twitter slipped to the third spot after Facebook and Instagram in the world of social networks. And Instagram isn't the only competitor Twitter needs to keep its eye on. Younger users are finding other options for communicating with their friends.

There's Snapchat, Vine, Yik Yak and other hot shots apps popping up on every social corner. Twitter has a lot of competition and that's not likely to change.

According to Enderle, slipping behind Instagram is hurting Twitter's image and doing something about that should be at top of Dorsey's to-do list.

Blau agreed that it's a big issue for the company. "It has been a slew of these other apps that are gaining ground on Twitter. It's not just Instagram," he said. "If they're stagnant and others are growing, then people are turning to something else. Is there a bigger problem than when users are leaving you? How do they capture those users back? How do they reactivate those logins when people haven't used Twitter in a while? How do you get people to buy things on Twitter? This has to be a big issue for them."

5. Can Dorsey handle Twitter as a part-time job?

 

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