Where’s the Love? Why Nobody Wants to Buy Twitter
There had been rumours for a few good months that SalesForce was in talks to buy Twitter, the third biggest social platform in the UK and the world. However, the deal has fallen through, with SalesForce CEO Marc Benioff stating that Twitter was “not the right fit” for the company.
This isn’t the only company to walk away from purchasing Twitter. Disney expressed an interest as did Google. Even Rupert Murdoch’s NewsCorp also considered a deal before ultimately deciding against it. So what is the problem? It appears the “confrontational” approach of many users is one issue – a.k.a trolls.
With our previous blog on negativity on social media, no social platform is immune from hateful posters. But the company has been extremely slow in delivering a suitable solution to the problem that Facebook and other sites solved many years ago. Facebook implemented the report feature that alerts the company to anyone dishing out abuse as does LinkedIn and others. Twitter does have a block mode and report system but is neither utilised or effective.
Once you take this into consideration, the brand image of Twitter may not be as rosy as originally thought. Maybe it’s understandable why Disney and others would walk away despite the size and popularity of Twitter. While Disney owns many channels that broadcast adult dramas, such as ABC, their umbrella brand is still focused on being family friendly. While they can control the content of what is broadcast on ABC, they cannot control the vast number of users on Twitter and what they broadcast.
It appears that this small percentage of trolls and Twitter’s slow response to combat the issue has affected the brand image to the point where it’s costing them nearly $3.5bn from the loss of the sale.
However, not everything is doom and gloom for the platform. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey will continue to try to find a buyer for the company, such as Microsoft, whilst planning for the future in its current set-up. The recent update to their posting rules has been widely welcomed by users and is an attempt to bring back those who have become more media focused – those who have swapped Twitter for Snapchat, Pinterest or YouTube.
For marketers, we shall expect more advertising features and functionalities in the future as Twitter tries to make us part with our money to boost their revenue. As for dealing with abuse, there have been no announcements on new methods to tackle the problem and for Twitter’s sake, there should be. Until they do, it is unlikely they will find a buyer – at least for the price they want.