Stuck in a Twitter Rut

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Posted: March 16, 2015, 10:00 a.m.
by Katie Vette.

Is Twitter dying amongst our generation? It’s the question every 20-something has been asking themselves for the past few months — maybe even the past couple of years. A blog published by The Washington Post said Twitter isn’t dying; it died in 2009 after the birth of “sponsored tweets.” A bit of a stretch, since most of us were just creating Twitter accounts in 2009. But since that allegation, Twitter’s stock has been dropping because it has minimal new users and can’t get users to come back at the same rates as before.

The struggle users have with Twitter is that it has multiple uses, whether it is used as a microblog, a news source or a basis of entertainment. Instead of Twitter doing one thing for a person, it does many. As users grow older, Twitter patterns change. So, is Twitter dying or do we simply not like the stage it’s grouped us in?

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Dear diary
This stage has probably been going on for the past five years of your life. You’re starting to realize the people you are following on Twitter are probably too immature to have phones at all. Why do people feel the need to tweet about their latest breakup or university’s latest scandal? The unfollowing never seems to end. And frankly, as a user, I’m bored — what is Twitter offering me other than an insider’s look into people’s lives that shouldn’t be plastered all over social media. No, Twitter doesn’t have an age limit. But hang in there, champ, you’re almost to the next stage of Twitter.

News and entertainment
Finally, a reason to get on Twitter again. Most of your followers have successfully graduated from the e-journal stage of Twitter or you’ve unfollowed the ones who haven’t. And hooray, all your favorite news outlets have Twitter accounts, from a favorite news station to a star-studded gossip magazine. Since we’re all busy with school or work, we might be skipping the nightly news. And that’s alright because today’s latest headline is still at our finger tips.

Adam Wexler, a writer for the Huffington Post, said, “Twitter is the 21st Century Newspaper.” Instead of people getting their news from a third-party source, like a traditional newspaper, we’re hearing the news straight from the primary source.

At the end of the day, we choose our sources and they choose the content. So, whether you want the journalist live-tweeting the game or the athlete tweeting after the game, it is your choice. “Best of all, if you like both view points weaved together, you can do just that,” Wexler said.

Twitter bird

A PR strategy
If you plan to work in a communications field, you will be quick to notice that Twitter is often used to reach specific target audiences. The term social media may be in your future job description, which is why we, as public relations practitioners, don’t want Twitter to die. In 140 characters, a company may take to Twitter to inform users about sales, promotions and even to address a crisis. The conversation between a company and its customers has never been easier.

Identity crisis
Twitter CEO Dick Costolo knows that Twitter has had little growth over the past few months. In a webcast Costolo emphasizes that Twitter has three distinct audiences: the daily users, the casual visitors and the people who only view tweets embedded in an article or app. Perhaps substantial growth is hard to come by when Twitter is trying to cater to multiple audiences in multiple ways.

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