Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A Total Newbie's Opinion on Why Twitter is Struggling

Twitter is struggling, with supposedly over 1 billion inactive accounts, and I think I know why, even though I just joined the platform about a month ago and am definitely not a social media expert. But as a new user, I can tell you why Twitter is a little off-putting to me personally, anyway.

When you log in, it's hard to figure out what to do, and why you're doing it. I should be "interacting and engaging with others" is what I've heard on Youtube advice videos and read in articles and books about Twitter, but I find very few real people to interact with on Twitter. What I find instead are lots and lots of promotions/ads/commercials. I would like it better if it were easier to find real people to talk to, but most people don’t respond, even when you @reply them. It feels like 75% or more of Twitter accounts are automated, and that you get most of your followers because people (actually, automated apps) want to get promos in front of you, even if just for a second. I feel like no one is really reading anyone else's tweets (including myself, because my twitter feed is mostly just this robotic mess that doesn't make any sense. Admittedly, I'm probably doing it wrong.)

I get all excited when I see an actual human head pop up in my notifications (because most profile pics are business logos) only to find it's not a human being who actually reads and responds to anything--they simply tweet their blog or website non-stop hoping others are reading it. And, sometimes I do read their blogs and look at their websites, to see if I can find something to respond to, retweet, and start a conversation about, but I lose steam and don't know what to say other than, "Great article/post." To which they usually don't respond.

(Maybe I'm just not trying hard enough to find people to interact with, but dang, it seems like it shouldn't be that hard on a platform with 316 million or so active users.)

I've read in Twitter advice books and articles that "nobody wants to hear what you had for dinner," but honestly, I'd much rather hear about that than just this constant stream of promos. We might be able to start a conversation about what you had for dinner. I'd feel like I was making actual connections if people told me anything about their real lives. For all of Facebook's problems and criticisms, at least on there I get to interact with human beings. I think that's why FB is still doing well, and it's what Twitter is missing: basic human connection.

That's my very measly 2 cents! I'm not giving up on Twitter yet, because the very few and brief human connections I've made were fun, and because I want to allow room for me just being unskilled at it and maybe that's why I don't love it yet. What about you? If you are on Twitter, please let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Do you enjoy it? Why or why not?

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