As user-statistics flounder, will the microblogging site’s new moves attract more users?
US tech companies and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are battling over consumer privacy. Twitter, Google and Facebook support Apple that has refused to build a back-door to the iPhone. While that may be so, nearly six months after Jack Dorsey took over as Twitter CEO again, the social networking app is looking to change. For starters, it is looking to tweak its timeline to place tweets it thinks users want to see the most, higher up on their timelines. Facebook has already initiated a process for Top Stories to move to the top of a user’s page, but they have the option of switching to recent updates.
However, while Twitter’s MAU is at 305 million in Q4 2015, down from 307 million in Q3, Facebook has added 40 million in the last quarter to touch 1.6 billion. The move did not find favour with Twitter users who responded with #RIPTwitter. It has also launched new tools that will improve interactions between businesses and users. Businesses can add a ‘Direct Message’ which will allow users to send a message to the business. That will allow businesses to send users private surveys to rate their opinion of the brand after a customer-service interaction. The private message link is an important feature, since customer service conversations often need to move to become private to allow the user to share personal information. But, since these are direct messages, it is unlikely to be monitored. While the tweaking is understood, what matters is whether these moves will lead to higher MAUs. That may not happen immediately.