Twitter buyout may make it easier for the social media giant to expand and more news from Twitter

By Alicja Gados

There have been rumours of a Twitter buyout all year.  Amid continuing low financial performance and traffic woes, Twitter is still a highly desirable target for purchase for many vendors. So who is interested in buying social media giant Twitter?

Google, Walt Disney and Salesforce companies have expressed interest in purchasing the platform, though the purchase price will likely be lower than expected.  After Twitter went public in 2013, share price was at $26. The peak was over $70 and is now selling for below $20. 

Will Disney buy Twitter?

Some reports speculate that Disney and Twitter would make a good complimenting pair, suggesting that Disney is likely to purchase the platform.  Disney also owns ABC and ESPN and Twitter would become a new online outlet for sports, entertainment and news. Disney is currently interested in expanding its hold on distribution technology, due to the decline of viewership in cable TV. Twitter could help them grow giving them a platform to reach a larger audience for their content.  With the acquisition of Twitter, Disney would gain large exposure to advertising revenue that is increasingly going to social media platforms, and may make it easier to keep in touch with their customers and audience. 

Twitter has an approximate market value of $16 billion, meaning that it would be a huge investment for Disney, and their largest purchase since 1996.  It would also bring certain challenges that come with an old, established media provider acquiring a fast-changing and adapting technology company.  Disney is also the largest entertainment company in the world. 

 Certainly with Disney’s ownership of ABC and ESPN, having a social media platform to their disposable would surely make distribution of content easier, giving live-streaming a real shot. 

Why is Twitter struggling on its own?

Twitter has been struggling for some time with ad revenue. It hasn’t been successful encouraging users to pay for enough ad space, causing them uncertainly with their revenue stream.  They also haven’t been successful in attracting more active users. The latest introduction of live streaming is a step in the direction of attracting more video advertising. 

If Disney does acquire Twitter, their biggest challenge will be attracting this ad revenue to keep the media giant afloat.  Of course, instead of purchasing them and avoiding the risks and challenges that come with a takeover of this size, Disney can also increase their presence on Twitter or spend more money on Twitter ads. This might seem a lot less risky than an expensive takeover, particularly when valuation of Twitter seems to be hotly debated these days.

The latest from Twitter

Like a typical social media company, innovation is constant and consistent. These companies are regularly updating capabilities, responding to user requirements and what is popular. So what is new at Twitter these days?

Twitters new live streaming strategy

Recently, earlier this September, Twitter proved their live streaming was a hit. In their first NFL live-stream feed, they were able to nab most of the digital audience for the event, an audience of 2.4 million viewers.   The user feedback was very positive, indicating that the company is on to something – hence allowing them to join the ranks of Facebook live which has recently curated live feed capabilities.

Relaxing 140 character limit rules

Along with live streaming, the latest capability from Twitter will allow users to compose longer tweets, because Twitter is at last relaxing its character limit rules. This update means that images, videos, GIF, twitter user handles and polls will no longer count to the 140-character limit.  Soon, all Twitter users will be able to put a few extra characters or words into their tweets, allowing them to forgo shorthand and put more detail in their messages.  It is this see how relaxing this requirement plays out. 

This is not technically an expansion of the character limit, but certain things that counted towards the limit will no longer be counted. Quoted tweets also will be among the things not counted.  Photos, for example, generally take up around 24 characters, so users will be able to squeeze an extra word or two into their message. 

140-character restriction that made Twitter famous initially, so it will be interesting to see how users react to this modification.  Perhaps the initial limit on 140 characters was too stifling and did not allow the company to grow, hence the companies apparent reversal of the rule. 

Retweet your own tweets 

Also, did you know that Twitter now allows you to retweet your own tweets?  Yes. Previously, only tweets posted by other accounts could be retweeted, but now, you can retweet your own.  But it seems all Twitter users want is the ability to edit their tweets, and not retweet them.

Twitter Moments

Twitter also joined the ranks of Snapchat and Instagram with the introduction of Moments to all users, as promised, starting September 28.  All Twitter users can now tell a story using tweets.  The moments tab is now included along the tool bar following likes and lists buttons. The Moments feature was initially launched a year ago and was available only to select users, and now it will be available to everyone as was promised in October of 2015. 

Twitter Moments ad by Twitter. Images from Twitter.com.

Twitter Moments ad by Twitter. Images from Twitter.com.

Twitter ‘Moments’ allows users to create a collection of tweets connected by relevant and common content.  The content can come from accounts that the user doesn’t follow.  The feature so only available on desktop but will soon rolls out on mobile as well.  This will allow you to build your content on other peoples content, creating more interaction and more of a community.    

The future for Twitter

New capabilities and rumours of a buyout, what does the future look like for Twitter?  Amid all of it’s issues, namely trouble sourcing advertising revenue and signing up new users, Twitter remains very popular, particularly for certain events. Twitter has been heavily used in the 2016 US Presidential election, and the first Presidential debate was the most tweeted debate ever. There were over 17 million interaction on Twitter about the debate, the most interaction out of any social media platform.  

 

Sources and Further Reading

The Verge theverge.com/2016/9/28/13097924/twitter-moments-creation-opens-to-all

Bloomberg.com bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-09-26/disney-said-to-be-working-with-adviser-on-potential-twitter-bid 

Digital Trends digitaltrends.com/social-media/twitter-disney/

Digital Trends digitaltrends.com/social-media/twitter-nfl-viewers/ 

Mashable.com mashable.com/2016/09/19/twitter-longer-tweets/#sHWzILI_JGq1

Fortune.com fortune.com/2016/09/27/twitter-takeover-price/

Comment