New Twitter browsing tab seeks to attract new users

Hailey DeWitt Williams
News Reporter

Twitter is the first place many millennials go before TV, radio or newspaper when they wake up in the morning.

The social media site reported 36 million new users since last year. But the boss isn’t happy.

“We are not satisfied with our growth in audience,” said interim CEO of Twitter Jack Dorsey, in the company’s 2015 second quarter results report. “In order to realize Twitter’s full potential, we must improve in three key areas: ensure more disciplined execution, simplify our service to deliver Twitter’s value faster, and better communicate that value.”

Growth in the U.S. has been stagnant for the past three quarters while the service grows slightly internationally, according to the report.

Twitter has 320 million active users and is a sharing option alongside Facebook on practically any post found on the Internet; so it may come as a surprise that Twitter isn’t doing very well.

“I think the challenge with Twitter is that we haven’t identified what the real use of it is,” said Jerry Chomyn, program coordinator of Media Studies at University of Guelph-Humber. “We’re still sort of toying with it and it’s much like many other forms of media… People are still treating it as a novelty,” said Chomyn.

Stock prices are bouncing around but continuing to drop. The company is trying to figure out how to convert its billion reached readers into users.

“I would use it more if they expanded the word count and came up with a way for me to filter my own feed instead of just searching for a hashtag and having to read through everyone’s tweets,” said Alina Kniaseva, 19, Bachelor of Commerce e-Business Marketing at Humber College.

This month, Twitter released both a commercial and a new browsing function in an attempt to draw in new users. The commercial focuses on drawing in the young, mobile and connected users, while the browsing tab aims to simplify the Twitter experience for those who want to use the site more casually and at their own pace.

The commercial focused on the MLB season, illustrating fans real-time reactions to a number of plays from the last season. The ad effectively contrasted Twitter’s new browsing tab with a number of action shots.

The browsing tab, called ‘Moments’, allows users to look through top stories from the day. Devoted primarily to big news stories, the tab allows users to stay updated on news without filling their timeline with news organizations in order to stay up to date.

“We’re finding out that it has power and it has influence, but we’re not quite sure how to harness that. And from Twitter’s standpoint, they haven’t figured out how to make money on it,” said Chomyn.

The commercial and Twitter ‘Moments’ are  what some believe to be the company’s last chance to recuperate after their stock price plunged about 13 per cent in shares.

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