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Twitter, described as being an easy-to-use, micro-blogging application, instant messenger or social presence notifier and, essentially, as being a broadcasting system that allows users to transmit short bursts of information to lots of strangers, as well as, to friends, has been in the news as one of the “hottest technology companies since Google and Facebook” (source: The Entrepreneurs at Twitter: Building a Brand, a Social Tool or a Tech Powerhouse?, found at https://campus.college.ch/download/assignment/2560). It also has been viewed as an influential factor in socio-political events, such as (and as mentioned on the given article) Senator Barack Obama’s United States (U.S.) presidential campaign, as well as, in political protests in Iran.
Despite its astonishing breakthrough into the Market (together with a strong crescent curve growth), by the end of 2009, Twitter had fallen to 24 million users worldwide (when, by mid-2009, the number was up to 29 million) . These figures made analysts wonder and discuss whether this sudden drop in users within only 6 months was indeed a blip or whether it revealed that Twitter needed a dramatic shift in its marketing strategy. Equally, many came to wonder how a company like Twitter was planning to survive in the long term (having such strong competitors in its market segment, namely, Facebook).
The question, then, that one (any interested observer/analyst on the Twitter case) must bear in mind is how should a company like Twitter face the future when thinking about a strategy that may support its sustained growth and shield itself from the eagerness of its competitors. The pertinent question/discussion should be around the following: being a company that has raised a total of $155 million from a consortium of investors in several rounds of funding – without having earned a single cent of profit – and valued at US$1 billion following its latest round of funding , should Twitter finally make a dramatic shift on its approach towards the business itself? In other words, should the company adopt a moneymaking business model? May it be a real business opportunity? Does, in reality, Twitter have the necessary potential to attain such model? Can Twitter ever earn profits? Or, contrarily, should Twitter be looked as a mere bright social network tool? What are the options under stake? What plans to follow? There is one certainty, for sure: Twitter’s entrepreneurs face a dilemma. Should they redirect their strengths towards building a real Twitter Brand (a much market approach with a strong money-making business paradigm), or should the model remain as it is for now (a Social Tool, without much preoccupation on making money out of it)?
On the following pages, then, I will try to grasp all of these questions and foresee what strategy (based, and solely, on the information provided in the case study article) I reckon to be the best and most appropriate for Twitter to implement.