I have been trying to figure out why Twitter is doing so poorly, especially in terms of revenue generation. Then it dawned on me. Twitter may be too good at allowing brands, and individuals, to obtain engagements.
In February of 2016, Twitter’s ad revenue per user came in at $6.31 in comparison to $13.54 for Facebook . Is Twitter just a failure of a social networking platform? Or is it too good at what it does in order to generate ad revenue?
Facebook has long suffered from the problem of users existing in ideological and social bubbles. Users generally only interact with people on their friends list, and Facebook advises against adding people that you do not know. On the other hand, you can see anyone’s posts on Twitter. You can even reply to any person by tagging them. This may result in a much larger, or at least much more diverse social network.
Brands can take advantage of this. Following someone often results in someone following you back. I have seen brands follow me. It’s pretty clear that there’s an attempt to get a reciprocal follow. Sometimes it works. Because of this, brands can focus on actually interacting with people in order to get followers and increase engagements. I personally have not used Twitter’s ad service once, and I have already seen a significant increase in those interacting with my brand, simply by my interacting with the Twitter community. I simply cannot do that with Facebook.
This means that if I want to at least try to get engagements on Facebook, I need to have a different strategy. Of course the quality of the posts help, but it’s still difficult to get new readers without using at least some kind of advertising scheme. And that may be why Facebook can draw so much more ad revenue than Twitter can. What this means for the future of Twitter, which needs to monetize its service in order to stay afloat, I do not know. Twitter should not make itself more like Facebook. But it needs to add something.