A lot can be said in 140 characters. That’s what Twitter taught the world over the past few years. But, suddenly, the world seems to have found other means to communicate and Twitter seems to have loads of problems. The social networking site that has been compared with its Silicon Valley peers Google and Facebook seems to have stopped growing. In the last quarter, for which results came out on February 10, it added zero users. It added no new users in the fourth quarter of last year; it was 320 million monthly active users in the third and fourth quarter. Exclude people who receive tweets via text message, the number declined in the last quarter of 2015 to 305 million from 307 million.
The problems is that Twitter’s user base is just a fifth of Facebook’s 1.6 billion users, while Google has 1 billion across eight products. In a world where the choice for social media is expanding by the day, it is losing out quickly. New entrants like Instagram and SnapChat have notched up 400 million users each. Twitter’s co-founder and reinstated chief executive Jack Dorsey has to do something quickly to stem the fall. Else, it could end up as one more has-been in the short history of the internet. What Twitter needs to do is more of what it has been doing—providing immediate information to people across the globe, rather than try to compete with Facebook. That’s where its future lies.