A funny thing happened when Facebook tweaked its newsfeed algorithm last year – all the other social media platforms began to reach out to publishers and media companies, promising them the type of reach and engagement that Facebook once offered. And chief among these rival social media platforms to fill the power vacuum created by Facebook was Twitter.
At this point, you’re probably thinking: It’s 2018! Why is Twitter still the media’s favorite social media platform? As it turns out, there are at least three good reasons why the media still loves Twitter so much.
Reason #1: Twitter is all about making deals that make sense for publishers
In any negotiation process, the party with power will always try to get the best terms possible. And that’s exactly what happened with Facebook and the big publishers – Facebook was holding all the winning cards, and the media publishers had to accept whatever terms Facebook decided upon. Even when Facebook was throttling back on organic reach, media publishers had no choice but to accept these terms.
Now contrast that arm-twisting by Facebook with the much more business-friendly approach offered by Twitter. According to media executives, Twitter is all about doing “balanced” deals that have plenty of high upside revenue potential. In short, Twitter actually cares that the big publishers are making money. Facebook, unfortunately, just saw the big media publishers as a low-cost supplier of content: nothing more, nothing less.
Reason #2: Twitter offers a new live video platform that’s easy to use
A second big reason has to do with video. As everyone knows by now, video is where it’s at on the Internet. And publishers have been ramping up their social video capabilities as a response, mostly to take advantage of features like Facebook live video. But, as of December 2016, Twitter has also had a live video feature that is arguably just as easy to use as Facebook’s.
At one time, Periscope and Twitter Video were two vastly different offerings, now they are pretty much one and the same. In fact, some publishers are now using Twitter live video to program their own shows. Twitter has always had TV programming aspirations, and it has shown that it is more than willing to help out publishers trying to create their own shows for Twitter.
Reason #3: Twitter offers the potential for 24/7 engagement
Twitter was created around the concept of “What’s happening now,” and is still the go-to place to see what’s happening whenever there is a big event or news story. For example, if you watched the Oscars this year, chances are that you were keeping a close eye on your Twitter feed to see what your friends were saying about each of the nominees. Media publishers are desperate to get eyeballs and clicks, and Twitter is still effective at getting both.
And there may be one more reason why the media is falling back in love with Twitter – it fits into their traditional media business model. Twitter is great for segregating content by different verticals (e.g. sports, entertainment, national news, local news), as well as by different content creators (e.g. a different Twitter feed for every different journalist or TV personality). And don’t forget – the short tweet on Twitter is the equivalent of a punchy sound bite from the old analog days of media. They help to provide context and drive a narrative.
So, for all these reasons, it looks like Twitter and the media are getting ready for the next stage in their on-again, off-again relationship. At least, until Facebook decides to woo back publishers with another offer they can’t refuse.