Twitter could be going through decisive days with crucial change unfolding as the social media firm’s growth has been slowing and its stock price has halved since its debut at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in November 2013 – almost flat year-to-date (YTD) at $35.85. Around 302 million people have signed up on the short-messaging service and despite its ability to create the buzz around the world – from celebrities to politicians – it has failed to turn a profit so far. The crisis has grown on the firm’s ongoing difficulties to grow its user base and to produce profits from online advertising. It has become so acute that CEO Dick Costolo has decided to step down, paving the way for the comeback of Twitter’s founder Jack Dorsey who will be interim CEO till the firm finds for a replacement.
Beyond the now usual issues of Twitter with top management and its constant battle of building evidence that it’s more than a great invention but also a future cash machine, what could explain Twitter’s vicissitudes? First and foremost, although it has also been at the core of Twitter’s innovation, 140 characters are a bit too short to distribute relevant content. Second, the way users can follow their subscriptions’ tweets seems outdated, for instance having to click each time a new tweet is available. Third, investors may have real reason to worry as it does seem difficult – at least visually – to make the user more willing to click on advertisement amid such huge uninterrupted data flows. Being a great tool doesn’t necessarily mean it will be profitable. Although investors’ impatience grows, Dorsey could have more than one ace up his tweets.