Twitter that is being run by interim CEO Jack Dorsey isn’t having a good time. First the ongoing user growth problem and now the company’s stock price hitting an all time low – down to $28.91 per share according to Yahoo Finance, more than 4 percent below its May 2014 slump. The move pushed Twitter below $20 billion in market value and it is said that the company’s stock may fall as low as $17.
The confidence of the street has gone down after the Q2 2015 Twitter’s earnings call. Even though Twitter beat financial expectations last week, reporting $502 million in revenues for Q2, continued fall in user growth has been a worrisome thing. But the bigger bad news for Twitter is that US, which gets the company its maximum revenue, has been at a stand still with user growth.
Twitter’s interim CEO Jack realizes the problem but Twitter’s Finance Chief Anthony Noto threw cold water on investor hopes by saying that the company’s user growth is not expected to rebound anytime soon.
Nonetheless, Jack is ready to clear up the mess – “In order to realize Twitter’s full potential, we must improve in three key areas: ensure more disciplined execution, simplify our service to deliver Twitter’s value faster, and better communicate that value.”
Simplifying Twitter has been the priority and the company is bringing two more design changes. The objective is to make the product easy to use for the layman, but at the same time with these two new changes Twitter is also aping Facebook’s simplified design. But then Facebook has also been borrowing some of its features from Twitter, like the recent live events feature that Facebook debuted over the weekend at the Lollapalooza music festival.
Experimenting with News tab
The first change that Twitter is most likely to bring is a News tab in its mobile app. According to Buzzfeed, the experiment is Twitter’s effort to make its best content easy to find. When you click a headline, you’re taken to a story screen with an image, headline, block of text from the story, and the top tweets discussing it. “We’re experimenting with a news experience on iOS and Android as we continue to explore new ways to surface the best content to users,” a Twitter spokesperson said in a statement.
The new feature will simplify the trends and in a way stop people asking why a certain trend is trending. Instead of leading with tweets, the tab introduces people to Twitter with something everyone understands: headlines. Tweets come after. A mechanism that Facebook implemented when it launched ‘Trending’.
In addition to this the News tab could give advertisers a less conversational experience with defined topics they can plan around. Sports news, for instance, would likely be of interest to a sporting equipment advertiser.
The experiment, which is already live in Japan, is starting out with a list of pre-approved publishers. In fact Twitter teaming up with publishers for the News tab, could very well be the answer to Facebook’s Instant Articles product.
Summary cards become more visual
Mashable states that very soon your Twitter timeline may bear a greater resemblance to Facebook news feed. Twitter is trying out a new look for summary cards — that is, tweeted links on Twitter.com — and the experiment looks a little familiar. “We’re experimenting with summary cards in the timeline to make cards more visually appealing, media-forward and give users more information about the content in a glance,” a Twitter spokesperson told Mashable.
This is how summary cards look as of now on desktop:
Going forward the summary cards will look like this:
Isn’t that how Facebook timeline looks like? While there are certain visual differences with Facebook but the general format remains the same. However, there isn’t a word on when Twitter will make this feature public.
Whether these features would do the magic, only the future earnings call can tell. Hopefully by then Twitter isn’t bought by Google, at a time when Google+ has made a pivot from a social network to a connections platform.