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To Tweet or Not To Tweet?

19th February 2016

Was anyone really shocked by the news earlier this month that Twitter’s user numbers stalled in the final quarter of 2015?

With the ever increasing popularity of other social media platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram, and brands such as Burberry even beginning to see their potential, surely it was only a matter of time before Twitter had to start making some changes in order to keep its user base engaged. It used to be the sole platform that allowed users to keep up to date with the day-to-day lives of their favourite celebrities, but it could well be argued that Instagram has trumped this in recent years.

Twitter announced its stats for the final quarter, revealing that its active user numbers had stalled at 320 million – the same amount it had reported for the previous quarter of 2015. For the first time ever, Twitter had failed to grow its user base. While 320 million active users is certainly still a huge portion of the world, it’s certainly a blow for Twitter.

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We’ve seen the vlogging community become a huge cultural phenomenon in the past five years or so – perhaps because this indulges our curiosity, and allows us a greater insight into the lives of others. Could it be that Twitter is falling short as it only allows a snapshot of what is happening, what people are doing, while we crave to consume more?

Of course, everyone in the Alfred office has a Twitter, and we all use it to varying degrees of intermittent retweets of news-based satire to actively using it as a platform to voice opinions. We love Twitter, its 140-character limit that’s so infuriating to meet (!), and the array of amazing hashtags born throughout the years, from the powerful #YesAllWomen, #NotInMyName, #JeSuisCharlie to the satirical #SadnessInHisEyes, and #ImmaLetYouFinish, so naturally we wanted to share our thoughts in Tweet format:

Caroline: Kanye using Twitter exclusively for his inane ramblings should actually increase its user base – who can honestly resist that?

Gemma: Couldn’t be without it when it comes to breaking news&tracking train delays. Although I’m not v active other than to moan about said train!

Lauren: Still the ultimate way to track what journalists and influencers are writing about and interested in. Would be lost without it!

Hannah: Great for celeb news (meltdowns) & journo research. Personally, I use it mostly to check live reactions to TV shows I’m watching #spoilers

Megan: I’m a surfer not a Tweeter. It’s the best way to find out the latest news and gossip in quick, digestible bites!

Holly: I’m a big Twitter fan; I love engaging with my favourite influencers and sharing content, and confess I keep an eye on my no. of followers.

We’re sure that Twitter will be around for plenty of years to come and is unlikely to go the way of MySpace and Bebo. You can’t ignore the fact that a huge percentage of the world are still actually active on the platform – numbers stalled but they didn’t decline, so there’s bound to be plenty more to come from Twitter.