Yesterday, Dick Costolo stepped down as CEO of Twitter (nice headline Gawker), with original founder Jack Dorsey stepping in at least on an interim basis. Full disclosure, I’m Head of Global Marketing for Unmetric, and we are part of the Official Twitter Partner Program. Personally, I’ve been using Twitter since July, 30 2007 and still use it just about every day.
Along with the change at the top, Twitter also announced a change to their product. Direct Messages (DM) will no longer be restricted to the familiar 140 characters. Wired wrote that this makes the platform more competitive with other messaging apps, leading some to speculate that this will just increase the amount of spam users receive.
Over at Quartz, John McDuling breaks down a pretty epic piece from Venture Capitalist and major Twitter shareholder Chris Sacca. As McDuling notes Sacca is passionate about Twitter and clearly cares about the company. McDuling jumps on a line early is Sacca’s piece:
I believe in Twitter. The company itself is improving, not worsening. The stock market doesn’t get that because Twitter has failed to tell its own story to investors and users.
If you were around in the early days of Twitter, you’ll remember the regular occurrence of the Fail Whale. That species went extinct several years ago. They’ve made other additions and enhancements that, on the whole, I think have been good. But read the other part of the statement by Sacca. Twitter has failed to tell its own story to investors and users.
I think Sacca nails it here. It’s not about the ‘what’ anymore, people know what they can do on the platform. It’s about the ‘why.’ Why should someone use Twitter as opposed to the dozen or so other options they have when looking to communicate with someone else? I certainly have feelings about using Twitter, and the interactions I have engaging on the platform elicit emotions as well, but I don’t know if enough people have feelings towards the company in a way that makes them feel loyal. Sidebar for all marketers – check out these Fast Company stories Researchers Explain How Brands Make You Fall In Love, and Why Do We Like Brands As Much As We Like People?
Google has done a great job of making you feel something about them as a search engine through their powerful Google Stories advertising efforts:
So many people use Twitter for reasons that have strong emotional resonance. Sporting events, politics, TV shows… but I don’t think people ever stop and think “Thank you Twitter for making this possible.” That’s the psychological shift that Jack Dorsey, or whomever becomes CEO, needs to address.