In the wake of falling share prices and poor market performance compared to other social media outlets, Twitter appears to be rebranding themselves as a news network rather than a social network.
The as yet unannounced rebrand was spotted when Twitter moved their official app on Apple’s iTunes app store out of the social networks category and into the news outlet category instead. Previously ranked within the top ten of the social media category, the well thought out relocation now places Twitter into a number one spot, offering them massively improved visibility within the app store.
This strategic shift marks a step which speaks volumes about how Twitter now wish to be perceived; they now seek to move away from their alignment with the other social networks and instead be aligned with the news.
Twitter’s second by a second recording of news and reactions is so quick off the mark, in the past, it has threatened to usurp traditional media coverage of breaking news stories and has helped celebrities to bypass journalists and get their message directly across to the masses – offering them their own media outlet, in effect.
Speaking in a live webcast in 2009, avid user Ashton Kutcher said of his race to beat CNN to a million Twitter followers: “We can and will create our media.”
It’s felt that Twitter is keen to reposition itself in the marketplace due to its crashing stock and the need to appease investors. A month after going public in December 2013, Twitter’s share prices peaked at $74.73, however on May 3rd, 2016, shares in Twitter plummeted to an all-time low of $13.90, equalling a share price decline of 40% this year, and an 80% fall from their peak.
Though Twitter has reached 310 million monthly active users for the first quarter of 2016, this barely improves upon their reach of 305 million users in quarter four of 2015 and is a clear sign that their business growth is beginning to flat line.
Twitter have yet to offer any public comment on their category move, and their Twitter app on Google Play remains in the social category for now.