Commentary

Twitter At 10 And The Value of Real-Time Marketing

Loads of publications took note on Monday of the 10th anniversary of the little blue bird: Twitter.

Remarkable that Twitter’s a decade old—not a baby, and almost a teenager. In somewhat of a slump these days as subscriber growth has slowed, it remains a powerful tool for real-time marketing, news source, vehicle for influencers, marketers and anyone who wants to express themselves.

Twitter reported a net loss of $90 million for Q4 2015 vs. a loss of $125 million for the same period in 2014. User growth stalled in Q4 2015 with 320 million average monthly active users—the same number as the previous quarter.

But you can’t count Twitter out—not by a long shot.

Forbesnotes that Twitter has changed the way brands market and how people create, share and consume content.  It also makes the point that Twitter’s most compelling proposition is its real-time content, particularly with the debut last year of its Moments feature.  Moments flags and curates the top stories of the day from around the world all in real time. 

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Some of those “moments” from Twitter’s decade-old life include: the Arab Spring; Ellen DeGeneres’ selfie during the 2014 Oscars; President Obama’s 2012 election victory, “four more years”; Oreo’s “dunk in the dark”; “LoveWins” when the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage—and so many more.

Twitter has shown the power that individuals, nonprofits, politicians, celebrities (who occupy a different orbit), activists and brand marketers have to express themselves in the moment, influence potentially millions of people and share “news” and content that might not otherwise surface. Twitter is a content-discovery engine, a vehicle to share and overshare, influence, educate, waste time on and more.

It’s all in real time, in the moment, of the moment—although we know that brand marketers and others have carefully calculated strategies on the platform. That’s not a bad thing. It’s just a fact.

So happy birthday, Twitter.  Show us what you’ve got next…

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