Twitter is a simple platform with a variety of uses. There are comedy bots, users pseudo-live tweeting World War II, celebrities promoting products, and regular users showing off their dinner on Instagram. With various CEOs at the helm, Twitter has had different directions. CEO Dick Costolo wants to make it an entertainment platform.
Costolo is described by Sarah Lacy, founder and editor-in-chief of PandoDaily, as “[A] former stand up comedian, pop cultural [sic] enthusiast, and guy who is amused by the little things in life.” She also notes his that “he had Jon Luc Picard help ring Twitter’s opening bell.”
Lacy says Evan Williams’ (co-founder and former CEO of Twitter) background is in “different ways of disseminating, democratizing, and sharing news and information” first through Blogger and then Twitter, caused him to direct Twitter into a news hub. Twitter is certainly still a place to go for breaking news, any trip into the trending topics will more than likely inform users about at least one current news event. Indeed, Twitter often breaks the news before it’s news, like it did for the death of Osama Bin Laden.
But the user base and the use cases for Twitter are so varied that driving a focus on entertainment would be unlikely to crowd out other uses. “Entertainment doesn’t have to pass a pesky bar of truth [like news does] and it’s far more universal than wanting to know what your friend is doing right now,” Lacy writes.
“Twitter is also experimenting with features that highlight tweets on particular topics, such as upcoming television shows and other big events, and it has tried sending emails and notifications to people to point out popular tweets and accounts that many of their Twitter friends are following,” according to Vindu Goel of the New York Times Bits Blog.
Twitter has been ramping up its involvement in entertainment for quite some time now, especially through its connection with Nielsen. If Twitter is able to pull in more TV viewers and enlighten them to the service’s use as a second screen entertainment platform, they may be able to fight the user-growth slump. Entertainment could bring Twitter back to full strength.