Or it might be an issue of pressure from ownership. Maybe Twitter could be profitable now by selling premium accounts or becoming even remotely competent at advertising. But Twitter has been getting a bunch of money from investors essentially on the assumption that it would grow into something around the size of Facebook. And it's not the size of Facebook. It's really far from that size, actually, and its stock price has dropped accordingly. But still not that much, and those investors don't want to give up on the promise of Facebook-sized stacks of cash. "Grow!" the men in French-cuffed shirts shout, and so Twitter must grow. This isn't speculation -- growth is the first and most important item they mention in every shareholder letter and quarterly report.
And Twitter is growing. Just slowly. The problem is that Twitter's core experience just doesn't seem to appeal to huge swathes of the population the way Facebook or anilingus does. It's great for jokes, keeping up with the news, jokes about the news, and Game Of Thrones spoilers, and is consequently more or less a mandatory tool for any media type in the world. But the Twitter experience requires a bit of a buy-in; it's completely useless without your own account, and you kind of have to stick with it for a bit and get your list of followers and timeline set up to really make it fun. That's evidently a big barrier for many people.
So how is Twitter getting around that? How is it trying to grow? Blind flailing, apparently. Tinkering around the edges of their product in the desperate hope that makes it more appealing to new users. Who cares about mildly annoying your existing users (who still aren't paying for anything) if it results in a product more appealing to new users? A new homepage, which actual users never see? Why not? Fire some blue lines in the timeline, see what happens. More Moments tabs. Seven of them! And all the anti-harassment measures Twitter's been conspicuously dragging their feet on? Almost all of those would result in an environment which makes it easier for famous, well-known people to wall themselves off from newer, smaller accounts. That's predictable, and probably necessary, but the possibility of interacting with a famous person is one of Twitter's selling points to new users. Shutting that down will slow growth, so you can guess why they've been so reluctant to do that.
Which means that until Twitter gives up on the possibility of being a gigantic success and just settles for being a regular success, a couple times a year, we're going to see this little ritual of users bawling about blue lines or too many characters. Or it will run out of money and fold, and investors will have spent billions of dollars on the world's most expensive joke website. Which is actually pretty funny. Yeah, they should definitely do that instead.
Chris Bucholz is a Cracked columnist and your best friend. As the author of the amazing novels Freeze/Thaw and Severance, he thinks you should definitely go buy both of those now. Join him on Facebook or Twitter.
For more check out 7 Celebrities Who Are Hilariously Awful At Twitter and 6 Celebrities Who Are Surprisingly Angry On Twitter.
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