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Direct Marketing – Does Twitter Have a Future as a Marketing Medium?

by Al Urbanski, Senior Editor, Direct Marketing


Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s blog post this week heralding the end of the 140-character limit on tweets was met with surprise and consternation from most quarters. Isn’t the succinct electronic message the thing that defines Twitter? Perhaps, but it does nothing to define what need the network filled for marketers overwhelmed with choices, according to observers.

Brian Solis, Altimeter Group analyst and author of a new book about customer experience called X, says Twitter has an identity problem. “Twitter never outright said what it is to the world. By its own dumb luck, Twitter has thrived with celebrities who get people to follow hashtags. But it lives in a new world now of live video, Snapchat, Facebook M, and Operator,” Solis says. “They have shareholders to report to now.”

Solis, who got to know Dorsey and cofounders Evan Williams and Biz Stone during their formative years at Twitter, has faith that the second-time CEO can get the birdie to fly. “Jack is a decisive individual with a clear vision. It was his vision to do the 140 character limit, mimicking MMS, which was hot then,” Solis says. “The first big announcement of a turnaround situation is one that’s going to instantly be perceived as a move of desperation. But, in Twitter’s case, it’s an overdue move toward establishing its purpose in the world.”



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