Tim Worstall recently wrote an interesting article on twitter which in effect summed up my thoughts on the social media platform. Here are my though on the aricle.
Tim seem to think that Twitter does not have enough real users to make it valuable to advertisers. Not valuable, whatever does he mean? Doesn’t Twitter claim a user base of approximately 281 million users? Though substantially less than Facebook’s, this is however larger than LinkedIn’s, right? So why would Mr. Worstall believe that Twitter lack monetary value?
Well according to a Forbes article, “Twitter makes 39 cents for every dollar Facebook gets out a user and 30 cents compared to a similar dollar LinkedIn makes on a user.” On this statistic alone, I can see why the author would think so. So in effect, advertisers are reluctant on using the micro blogging platform because it won’t make them enough money. They seem to think that it does not contain a big enough audience. Well in fact, they just may be correct right.
The 281 million accounts Twitter claimed to have are not individual users but accounts. So it would be more correct to say that Twitter has 281 million accounts. Out of these accounts, an individual may have more than one. Hey, don’t I have 2 twitter accounts, one for which I’ve forgotten the password? I wonder whether it is still active, Hmmmm?
Are you getting my point here? But wait, it gets more interesting. Haven’t you ever seen a Tweeter user starts following you, but when you do visit his/her profile all you can see on the timeline is a bunch of links pointing to a product or service? What are the chances that there is an actual individual sending out those tweets every 20-30 minutes? Also what are the chances that the individual running this bot have more than one account similar to this one? Even without any calculations, we can probably estimate the total Twitter user count to be a lot less than the acclaimed 281 million. So Tim Worstall’s article title that “there maybe aren’t enough real people on Twitter to make it valuable” may just be right! Why would advertisers pay to get thousands of ad impressions from a bunch bots that for sure aren’t there to buy squat?
This reminds me of MySpace in their dying days when they claimed to have millions of registered accounts, only a few of which were active. How do I know? Well it is because I attempted to run a cost per impression advertising campaign, which was discontinued by MySpace because it was just not getting enough impressions. That’s how I knew there was no one on MySpace anymore. Then again I may have not bid enough money to have my ads shown. But then again, I seriously that this was the case.
Now don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that the micro blogging platform is headed down a one-way track leading to the end of their existence. I am just saying that they need to clean up their platform and find a way to increase their actual active real user count, and soon enough they may just be knocking heads and matching dollar for dollar with Facebook and LinkedIn.