With the acquisition of LinkedIn by Microsoft, many investors started buying Twitter stock thinking that the struggling social network would be next. Nick Bilton, one of my favorite writers with Twitter insights, recently explained why this is unlikely. So if nobody is going to buy Twitter, what can it do to survive? Can Twitter be saved?
I agree with Bilton, Twitter will not sell in the near future, specially given its latest investments in SoundCloud and Magic Pony Technology. In fact, I believe Twitter has several great opportunities within reach to overcome this difficult period.
Mobile payments, simplified
Do you know Square Cash? it is the modern version of PayPal, a secure, easy to use and fast way of sending money to friends. Paying is as simple as using a Twitter-like handle (@username). But guess what, it could be simpler, if Square and Twitter were part of the same company. Twitter accounts are more popular than Square Cash accounts, so what if they were the same thing?
NFC payments are becoming mainstream, but if there is something that can still be simplified is online payments, and everyone is trying to take a stab at it: PayPal is probably the best example at the moment since their system is a little cumbersome with unclear fees and email addresses that are difficult to remember; Google’s attempt to improve this is one of my favorites and also the simplest, since they just allow you to store and use your credit card in any website using Chrome; Apple is also joining the party by supporting Apple Pay on websites… there is clearly a need.
Companies are investing in this area and that’s where the Twitter+Square combo comes in: using your Twitter username for payments could be a great rival to all of these solutions.
Content like nowhere else
Facebook is preparing changes on their feed to show more content from your friends in detriment of content from publishers, and that makes sense, I actually tried to fix this by myself with more or less success. I mostly use Facebook for private posts that only my close friends should see, whereas I use Twitter for content that I want to share with as many people as possible (not only my friends).
Twitter should capitalize on Facebook’s move and make it even easier for publishers to provide content to their users. And fortunately for Twitter, there is already a good avenue for this: it’s called Moments.
Twitter should provide a way for regular users to create their own Moments. The pagination effect used to display content in Moments could also address the request of allowing tweets with more than 140 characters.
With almost 4000 employees worldwide, Twitter has the resources and the talent to deliver on unique experiences, and the above are just a couple of examples. Twitter has a lot of unrealized potential, it just needs time to focus on the right projects, and perhaps to break-up with Wall Street (although that’s a story for some other time).