Today, the news is that Jack Dorsey is rumoured to be setting aside takeover discussions and instead putting in the hours to work on a turnaround strategy. To be honest, it's not the biggest news story of the day to suggest the man at the helm of Twitter is working on a plan to make money rather than post yet another quarterly loss. That's his job, right? It's also not that surprising to hear that this work should focus on dealing with trolls whilst trying to get new user rates growing at a healthier rate.
I would add to that Twitter's far more pressing problem. It simply doesn't make that much of an effort to incorporate advertising. If i were Jack Dorsey I'd look at Facebook and put in a sponsored post every dozen (half dozen?) or so posts, maybe with a funky carousel unit? While he's at it, he might want to look at prioritising tweets in timelines so, like Facebook, the most interacted with, and so most likely to be interacted with, are top of the feed.
Without a concerted effort to monetise the screen, Twitter has the worst of both worlds. Quarterly losses and timelines that are just way too confusing to be of use to anyone. I've heard Twitter described as a dog with his head out of a car window, watching all the scenery fly by. It kind of feels a bit like that, doesn't it?
There are, of course, bigger issues for Twitter, although a timeline algorithm, more advertising and anti-troll measures would be a very good start. When it comes to a sale, you've got to ask yourself what another company would get out of owning Twitter. It doesn't make money, and it's free for a large company to use and build up a following. If you want to integrate it with anything, you can do that already can't you? Just building a following, put hashtags on what you're doing and you're getting all you need out of Twitter. Why the need to own it?
The harsh reality is that Facebook has won the social media battle with its old adversary and marketers have had their attention drawn to Facebook's Instagram and the new exciting kid on the block, Snapchat. When Twitter is mentioned at any conference it's usually only to show how accounts have fallen off a cliff and the game has moved on.
Funnily enough, I was talking with a music composer earlier today about how he got his first big break by being discovered on MySpace, which made us both laugh and say out loud, "'remember them?" I think the same may well be said about Twitter. It's probably too big to be dropped overnight and remain unsold. but any investors thinking glory days are ahead or a major company will spend billions on it is seriously deluded. The game has moved on.