Are being misjudged.
Tomorrow the short-messaging social network will reveal its numbers and the analysts will gasp, the pundits will swoon, and everybody will say that Twitter needs to be fixed.
But that’s not the truth at all.
By Wall Street standards Twitter’s a diving joke. A company that’s hit a financial wall with no obvious upside.
By cultural standards it’s a juggernaut, far exceeding the impact of Facebook and Snapchat, even Instagram.
How can this be?
You see our nation has gone topsy-turvy, it’s all about the money. It’s ruined the arts and it’s ruining business. If you’re not making a ton of dough and increasing the number every quarter you’re falling behind, out of the conversation. And yes, an entity needs cash flow to survive, but how much? And isn’t impact more important than money, especially when it comes to changing the conversation?
Look at Tesla, anemic by automobile standards, gargantuan regarding impact, it took the electric car off the shelf and put it back into the conversation.
But Tesla’s stock is through the roof, for now anyway, defying all realistic fundamentals. Let’s focus instead on BMW, which has lost the sales crown to Mercedes-Benz. BMW is a juggernaut of innovation. Do you think we’d see all those features in Hondas and Chevys if it weren’t for the bleeding edge developers? Of course not!
Not that automobiles are a perfect analogy, the point being someone has got to lead, someone has to move the conversation forward, and that all happens on Twitter. While Facebook is trying to find out how to stop people killing others on live video, everybody in the news business is addicted to their Twitter feed, they want to know what is happening, right now. And the reporters go there for info and the outlets post their latest findings and unlike Facebook or Google it’s not curated by an algorithm but the users themselves. You follow who you want to, and when they prove to be worthless, inane, boring or all three, you mute them and move on.
And it turns out most people have no powers of analysis and they can’t figure out how to work anything mildly complicated and they just want to be seen as important, and Twitter fails on all those accounts. For years we heard about people tweeting their every move. If you think this is how Twitter still works, you’re probably e-mailing your friends jokes on AOL. Twitter has moved on. The looky-loos have long departed. The self-righteous wannabes tweeting over a hundred thousand times are living in their own tiny silos, in their own echo chambers. That’s one of the great things about Twitter, when you see somebody hating on you you can check them out and in almost all cases they have almost no followers and no one sees the hate, so you can relax. This is not the network television of yore, this is one jerk with a megaphone in the middle of the prairie with no impact.
So you’ve got experts in every field tweeting about their findings, what interests them.
When breaking news occurs a hive emerges with tons of data. Is it sometimes wrong? Of course! But so is mainstream news! And if you can’t ferret between the true and false, if you can’t adjust on the fly, you don’t deserve to be on Twitter, you need remedial reading classes.
And this is where the President makes his pronouncements.
It’s all happening on Twitter.
But we’ve got to listen to the people who ruined this country, the financial sector, hate on the company.
Can it be improved? Sure! Does it need to be a standalone entity? Absolutely not. But one thing’s for sure, we need a source for real time news, and so far no one else is coming close to Twitter.
So celebrate the company that is driving the zeitgeist, where all stories get started, where those addicted to news live. Newspapers come second. TV is a comparative joke. And everybody worth their salt in either medium is right there on Twitter, whether it be Rachel Maddow or Margaret Sullivan.
If you don’t care, if you don’t want to play, that’s fine.
The fact that more people would rather revisit high school, post cat videos and doctor images that make them look amazing is irrelevant. It’s like looking to the Kardashian sisters to push the cultural envelope as opposed to Gustavo Dudamel.
We want people to make us think. We want to know where it’s all going and what it all means.
And there’s no better place to do this than on Twitter.
Financial metrics be damned!
Visit the archive: http://lefsetz.com/wordpress/
If you would like to subscribe to the LefsetzLetter