This social network is aimed at broad societies, where people are able to send 140-character messages, which are called tweets, to their followers. These tweets can be send by Twitter’s website or by instant messaging (IM) or short message services (SMS).2 Twitter was found out in 2007, when in April it was spun out of Obvious Corp. by very smart guy Evan Williams. And a huge break for the young Twitter came in March 2007, in Austin TX, on Southwest festival. There, where all members of that festival were able to see their tweets flash across television. And rapidly, the number of tweets increased dramatically to 60,000 per day.3 At the current moment, Twitter has more than 309 million weekly active users all over the world. Though, it had net loss of $577.82 million in 2014 at the end of the 2014, according to the latest news, Twitter was ranked as the second most popular social networking site on December the 1st, 2015. 6
Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats
One of the main strengths of Twitter is using hashtags. Especially it is very convenient for monitoring companies. Moreover, using hashtags is also very helpful for not only creating engaging campaigns but also for monitoring to a certain extent of engagement. Even, when people don’t tweet your company directly, they can search your brand name or some of hashtags just to see how many people are talking about your company and how they value it.
This actually takes us to the another benefit of the company promoting help and support. Twitter is one of best social network where people, let they even don’t know you directly, can share opinions by evaluating your product. And you can reply them by tweeting some advice or support. 5 Also, one of the significant strengths of this company is organizational culture. Without such important aspect you won’t be able to build good relationships between people in the organization. Organizational culture provides major ideas and conceptions for the employees about company’s mission, goals, and values. It helps to make teams in an organization, which can efficiently and creatively fulfil hard tasks.
The first weakness of Twitter, Inc. is engagement in limited to 140 characters. Some people can consider it as nonsignificant. But let’s imagine: you want to write an opinion about the product, or to connect with seller( whom you don’t know personally) and you have many words to say, but, there is limit, and some of your words will remain only in your memory.5
The second weakness of the company(and I think the most serious) lies in historical financial performance. Twitter has very good growth in revenues: in 2012 it was 316.93M, in 2013 664.89M, in 2014 1.4B. However, it also had a net loss in the 2014 577.82 M. Expenses are growing faster than the revenue. And the reason is simple: the company invest a huge amount of money in RD. In 2014 it was almost half of company’s revenue. And it could lead to a serious problems in the future, if Twitter,Inc. will not change their strategy. 7
As it is mentioned above, investing too much money in RD can lead to serious problems, but also, it is a great opportunity for the company to improve their social network and to fix all their weak sides. A company has a lot of chances to create something totally new and make innovations in social networking industry. Furthermore, beginning from 2010 Twitter, Inc. has many acquisitions. And one of the most important acquisitions is changing Twitter from community platform to a complete cross-platform social network, including video chat, sending pictures, documents, etc.
Twitter, Inc. had an increasing popularity among users of their social network. But in the last year it began to fall gradually. There is a call for a company that something is going wrong. It means that it is a possibility for Twitter, to analyze all their mistakes and to correct them in the future.
One of the most crucial threats to a company is a huge amount of competitors.
As it is shown on the graph, Twitter has a great competition between Instagram and Facebook users among youth Americans(18-35). Moreover, even snapchat ( social network for sending pictures and videos) is more popular than Twitter. 8
Below, we can see that Google + and YouTube are also attract more users than microblogging social network.
Plans for capitalization on its popularity
For now, the main problem for Twitter, Inc. remains the same: how to make a profit on its popularity. Furthermore, they still have a net loss( and it’s quiet big, about 577 M). The main solution to this problem is to make profit. For the last two years Twitter mostly earn its profit from advertising( 89% on the Q1 of 2015) and the secondly from using the firehorse , in other words licensing data(case). Moreover, the company definitely should try to transform Twitter into multi-functional social network(all-in-one).4
Currently, the company have almost all its revenue from advertising. Furthermore, approximately 90% of that revenue comes from mobile. And that is the main advantage of Twitter, Inc. Such mobile ads are very popular among young generation, teenagers and youth are almost living in virtual reality. Of course it isn’t a good situation, but now we don’t care about that. Also, I consider that creating a cross-platform social network is pretty good idea. Firstly, it will be appreciated by many companies, which are using networks as the main tool for working. Secondly, it will attract a lot of users, who are currently using Facebook, Google+, V Kontakte, etc. Finally, I expect that the company would recover relationships with international vendors and designers, because it would return popularity to the company, as it was 3-4 years ago. I think that it might work. May be not now, but after a couple of years.
The most important functional areas.
To fulfil all these improvements which are mentioned above, Twitter, Inc. should focus on such significant functional areas as RD, marketing and finance.
As we know, historical performance of finance is one of the weaknesses in the company. Because, beginning from the previous year, Twitter, Inc.is having a net loss. So the company should focus more on this functional area. The reasons are simple. Firstly, when the company has a sustainable financial performance, it means that it has achieved a huge success. Secondly, they it would attract more vendors and investors. Finally, once again, the financial well-being would appeal more people among private users, primarily people from 18 to 35 years old. And the popularity of the company would be increased.
As it was previously mentioned, the company should pay much more attention on research and development. And it should be fulfilled for the next following reasons. Firstly, sometimes Twitter has periodical crashes on their servers. As they explain, it happens because of the too many connections, past, present, and future architecture challenge, very routine database update, etc.1
Secondly, as it was written above, almost 90% of their revenue comes from mobile ads, it means that the company do everything all right. The only thing they should look toward is improvement of it. Investing in that means achievement all their goals in future.
Advertising plays very important role in the foredoom of the company, especially it touches marketing as the whole process. Twitter is likely to have unqualified success if they begin to develop this very relevant functional area all over the world. People, even in Africa would value and appreciate this, where Internet and all other stuff is like something from the space.