After years of trouble, Twitter has made a recovery -- big time. Its stock is up 42% since the first of the year. (Mind you, lots of media/tech company stocks are up as well).
This is somewhat new. For the better part of the last few years, Twitter has been the poor out-of-touch middle child. Facebook and SnapChat have been the model children.
Now, things are different. Ned Segal, the new Twitter CFO, has said the company is a lot leaner in terms of staff and more focus, in terms of what it does well.
Segal told CNBC Twitter grew by double-digit percentages to 330 million monthly active users as of the fourth quarter 2017, the fifth consecutive quarter of growth.
Twitter has been tweaking its services over the past few months, most prominently expanding its 140 characters limit in each tweet to a much more rambling 280 characters.
Now, in addition to all this, we all know the President is very enamored with the social-media platform. He is so comfortable with Twitter, he has no problem firing people via a tweet. All this means higher “earned media” value, thanks to those highly charged, closely-watched presidential missives.
Why advertise on national TV to get the word out?
Well, Twitter could still tinker with its template -- perhaps getting those on-the-fence, rare or non-users of the service to amp up their tweeting. Perhaps one major area is focusing on a simple idea Segal told Jim Cramer on “Mad Money.” The one in which “people go to break news.”
Still, this isn’t easy. Segal says especially when it comes to “news,” or “relevant content for users.” And, of course, we recently had some third-party research claiming false news stories are 70% more likely to be retweeted than true stories.
Then there is a advertising piece of the pie.
"We've got all these local businesses on Twitter, but they're not advertising on Twitter the way they might on other platforms.” Segal says. In part, it’s because Twitter hasn’t made it easy for them to make media deals.
The Twitter watch continues; maybe breaking more real news that everyone would want to read.