Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR)’s most recent changes to their Favorites function, in addition to how users are shown occasional tweets made by their friends’ friends, are likely only the beginning when it comes to what changes the social media giant will make in an attempt to appeal to a broader audience, according to an article in Forbes.
“I think it’s fair to say that we are not ruling out any kinds of changes that we might deliver in the product in service to bridging that gap between signing up for Twitter and receiving immediate value and you will see a number of kinds of experiments that we produce there,” CEO Dick Costolo is quoted as saying during a recent conference call.
As writer Jeff Bercovici explains, the existing and loyal users probably aren’t going to like it, just as they’ve been quick to malign the most recent changes as an absolute intrusion on the sanctity of their newsfeed. The changes bring Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR)’s feed much more in line with Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s, while not providing them with some of the tools that Facebook does to limit what is shown in their feeds, and by whom.
While the same could be said of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) to a lesser extent (save for those unfortunate enough to have friends who post all of their gaming exploits and requests to their wall), most Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) users’ feeds were already under an endless siege of tweets from those they follow. The addition of yet more unwanted tweets showing up is serving not to increase their engagement per se, but to drown out the content they want to be engaged with, and replacing it with stuff they may not have any interest in; and by the sounds of the grumbling, don’t.
Yet the changes are just the first step in Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR)’s efforts to improve upon their rather middling addition of 16 million new active users during the last quarter, and make the service more appealing and with a lower barrier of entry for new users.
The big question is, will Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR)’s changes bring in enough new users to replace the loyal ones who may end up abandoning the service over these changes? It’s a big risk they are taking, yet one that may also be a necessity; much to the chagrin of those grumblers.