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Twitter Is Killing Itself In Order To Grow And Please Wall Street - Forbes

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Twitter might have a natural limit to the number of people who want to use it:

One of Facebook’s – under-appreciated – geniuses has always been its mass appeal.  It was so easy, even your mom and dad could use it.  Combine that with a winner-take-all phenomenon which occurred at the end of the last decade when it dramatically expanded into basically all the geographies around the world and Facebook was able to very quickly get to over 1 billion users (now at 1.2 billion monthly active users).

Twitter has always had the ambition of growing to similarly large numbers of users, but their growth has really stalled out in the last year at around 241 million users.

Just last week, it was reported that Instagram – now owned by Facebook – will surpass Twitter in users by the end of this year.

Twitter’s growth flat line – which applies internationally as well as domestically — has created a crisis of confidence within the upper ranks of Twitter – especially since it’s playing out in the first few months after the company held its IPO.

The reaction by Twitter seems to have been to broaden the appeal of the product to the masses.  Grandma doesn’t know what an [email protected] sign or a hashtag is, so let’s try and make the product easier to use.  Let’s add photo-tagging.  Let’s add more frequent notifications that tell me two people I follow are having a conversation about the Academy Awards, so that maybe I’ll join in.

As someone who joined Twitter in 2007 and use it at least 50x more than I use Facebook, the effects of all these Twitter product tweaks has been to water it down and make me less (not more) interested in using it.

Jesus H. Christ, could this commentary be more ageist?

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