With 320 million active monthly users, Twitter is one of the most popular social media networks around. But what does the future hold for the network that popularized the hashtag?
Declining number of users?
It’s recently been reported that in the last quarter of 2015, the number of Twitter users stayed pretty much the same as it was at the end of the third quarter. So for a full three months, the social network failed to attract a significant number of new users. Twitter have labelled this a ‘seasonal lull’ and are looking at implementing new features in order to attract new users to the network. Instagram was launched four years after Twitter and has over 400 million users – its growth has been a lot faster than Twitter’s. In order for Twitter to catch up with other social media networks, expect it to do some heavy promotions and to keep changing things up.
Goodbye to the 140 character limit?
It’s been heavily rumored that Twitter’s famous 140 character limit might be increased to a huge 10,000 characters. But would this be a good thing or a bad thing? When Twitter was launched, one of its most unique features was this character limit. Instead of being able to make lengthy posts, users have always been restricted. Posts have been bite-size and easier to read; if posts were capable of being much longer, Twitter would lose one of its most unique features. People like being able to get varied bits of bite-size information on their news feed. If Twitter increases the character limit, they could drive people elsewhere. They’ve already increased the character limit for direct messages, so maybe it’s a matter time before they increase the limit for all posts…
Heading towards irrelevance?
Though Twitter is very often mentioned in the news and especially in celebrity news, there are concerns that the network might start becoming irrelevant unless it changes things up. One of the main reasons people have these concerns is because of Twitter’s stagnating user numbers. Even though Facebook, for example, has constantly made changes, the problem with Twitter is that it doesn’t have as much scope to make changes like Facebook does. One of Twitter’s most iconic features, the hashtag, is already prevalent on lots of other social media sites, so if the character limit is massively increased, would this mean there’s nothing really unique about Twitter? With so many social media networks, it’s important for all networks to stand out otherwise they’ll fall out of interest.
So these are just some ideas about the future of Twitter, taking recent news and speculation into account. While Twitter certainly isn’t going away any time soon, those at the top will have to be careful how they approach the future in order to get those user numbers to rise.