Social Media

Why You Should Embrace Twitter’s New Timeline

Shay Meinecke 15-04-2016

Twitter’s tenth year has come and gone, and with that, plenty of people have wondered whether or not Twitter will survive another ten years. Some people have even wondered if Twitter should remain a social site for another ten years.


The fact is, no one knows whether it will survive until 2026. There are, however, things Twitter should do if they do want to please their fans, achieve new users, and survive what some users have said is their ultimate fate — death.

In order to avoid its demise, Twitter is introducing things like the new timeline, and you’ll need to accept this if you want Twitter to live. Here’s why Twitter needs to do this.

Twitter Needs to Increase Engagement Rates

Many people and media companies use social media and Twitter to gain more followers 6 Tools to Help You Gain More Followers and Get Better at Twitter Just for enhancing one’s own personal brand, Twitter is a vehicle with rocket boosters. You will be surprised to know that using just 140 characters effectively takes a lot of skills. Put in the time... Read More , engagements, and website views. Twitter has taken to this in the past successfully, amassing millions of daily users, according to Statista.


While this might look great, it seems now that the amount of engagement — or how people react to your posts (retweets, comments, likes, website views) — has dropped over the years, even as the social site continues to gain more users.

And don’t just take my word for it. According to Derek Thompson, a senior editor with The Atlantic, “less than 2 percent of its overall engagement (went) back to the web.” Meaning that most of his links weren’t being clicked — what he wrote stayed on Twitter. While you might get a few likes and retweets, the ultimate goal of gaining traffic is lost with the social site. 

If Twitter wants to stay relevant and reach new users, enhancing their engagement tactics should be their number one focus. Simply put, Twitter needs to push tweets that deserve to be seen.


How so?

Much like Facebook (and soon-to-be Instagram), Twitter has started to feature something similar to “Top stories” at the beginning of its feed instead of showing content based too simply on reverse chronological order, which has been called “the live TV of social media” by some tech journalists. Without this, Twitter is great when you’re paying attention, but serves little purpose when you’re not tuned in.

Though some people have voiced their dissatisfaction with the idea of an algorithm change on Twitter Why an Algorithm Change Would Be the Death of Twitter Four days after the #RIPtwitter protest, Twitter did decide to make some changes to the timeline, but they weren't as significant as first expected. So what exactly happened? Read More , it could change things for the better. In fact, this is what will keep Twitter popular.


Twitter Must Control Trolling

Twitter has a trolling problem, much like many other social sites. However, trolling on Twitter has gotten so bad that many big time celebrities and social media standouts have stopped using the site. Such was the case when Stephen Fry recently left the site following threats, name calling, and bullying that most people would probably refrain from saying in real life. Though you can argue what he said was wrong, it can also be argued that the responses he received were just as wrong.

There’s a simple solution here — moderation. I’m not suggesting that Twitter moderate every tweet and insult, but setting some rules would do the site some good.

Twitter Could Authenticate Top Tweets

Twitter has been used as a hotbed for breaking news information. People take to the site to report on events happening around them the moment they occur. These people publish often grainy videos and portrait pictures of the day’s events to their followers, mostly hoping to reach an audience who would then retweet, comment, or like their status — helping the news broadcasters learn more about what’s going on in their corner of the world.

However, using Twitter to learn more about what’s going on in the world isn’t always a reliable source, as the site contains misleading tweets and false information — sometimes even from reputable sources that have been hacked, as seen in the video below. And while these unfortunate events do happen, Twitter needs to better handle them.


One such way to better authenticate these claims would be to fact-check “viral” content. Twitter or an outside company could then look into these rapidly circulated videos, pictures, and tweets, and fact-check what’s being shared. Of course, not every tweet and claim could be verified, but tweets that have garnered enough attention should be checked in some way.

Maybe this sounds too good to be true, but many people would be very grateful for the service, as many journalists (even world renowned journalists) have been fooled by some social media claims Should Journalists Use or Ignore Social Media? Two Examples to Think About Some see social networking as a valuable tool for reporting; others thing it does nothing but misleader reports. What do you think? Read More .

Take Control, Twitter

Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey said in an interview with Bloomberg that the site is “about giving people a lot of control,” which sounds great. However, now would be the time for Twitter to take a lot more control. Twitter needs to increase engagement, control trolling, and authenticate what’s being posted. Ultimately, allowing Twitter to control your timeline further is what will keep Twitter alive.

Oh, and for those of you have been wondering. The CEO has said he is committed to keeping the 140 character limit, which I think is a good thing.

Some of you might like these proposals. Many of you might hate them. What matters more is that something needs to be done. Now is the time for Twitter to take more control and appeal to their users.

What do you think? Is Twitter destined for death? Do you think it will survive another 10 years? Do you even care? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below…

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  1. Pirduan
    April 16, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    Someday it will be like Google+

    I do agree on the trolling that goes around Twitter. In fact, i was a victim to and it happened on my business account. Since Twitter has no absolute control over this, I've decided not to use Twitter as my primary platform and avoid using their ads services.

    Eventhough, Twitter wants to be a free speech, uncensored platform, they should at least put stict policy on trolling.

    As for the number of clicks and RTs, it happens in Facebook too. I guess that the habit users have these days. Retweets are like passing relay baton to the next person - no one knows who gonna click and read the links.

    Thus, with these uncontrollable elements, it's better not to waste time fightingbor overcoming it.

    Platforms such as Line, Whatsapp, Snapchat, BBM, will be a better platforms for targeted audience and we have much more control of the other users.

    • Shay Meinecke
      April 17, 2016 at 12:13 pm

      Twitter is notorious for trolls, unfortunately. And while it does have an abuse policy, trolls are still notorious on the site and continue to infuriate users to the point that Twitter now has problems getting people to sign-up for their services. More can be done.

      Sorry to hear your Twitter business account was attacked. Shame