We probably know someone that uses Twitter. You might have a Twitter account. I link my blog at @amhunn. And I enjoy reading some other tweets. But I find that some abuse it and tweet too often. So much so that anything of real value gets drowned out by the inane volume of meaningless announcements. And so as we get smarter with Twitter, the fad elements fade and its real value hopefully shines through. Hence the issues facing Twitter. "Just two years ago Twitter was the hottest thing on the web. But in the past year U.S. traffic at Twitter.com, the site users visit to read and broadcast 140-character messages, has leveled off. Nearly half the people who have Twitter accounts are no longer active on the network, according to an ExactTarget report from January 2011."
Can Twitter adapt to a changing landscape and can it find a sustaining revenue stream to support it? I for one would not use Twitter if it required a subscription fee. And if its ads became too prominent, it may also turn off more users. Serious challenges face the company to freshen up its space and turn on more revenue making opportunities.
"Yet even as management tackles its executive and product problems, a major challenge looms: Twitter needs to figure out what it wants to be when it grows up." According to the linked Fortune article, Twitter is actively working on its next move. In the meantime, other social networks are popping up to more quickly take its share of revenue.
To be fair, Twitter offers a real immediacy to news and events and as a conduit of information, has changed the media landscape. But can they generate enough real dollars to continue or will they need to merge with another more established player, like Google or Facebook, to remain viable? Until they prove their independence, a merger seems more than likely, it seems imminent.