There is undoubtedly an information overflow around Twitter and it’s related services. I thought it’s a good idea to group and present this information through a SWOT Analysis so that it would make more sense to the reader. As everyone would expect, strengths are much more than the weaknesses. However, there are way more threats than I expected.

*Credit goes to Jeremiah for his suggestion.

Feel free to comment if you believe I missed something.

Strengths

  • Gets tons of publicity.
  • Is a thing on its own (almost no competition in microblogging).
  • It is simple but powerful.
  • It is 100% social in an all-social web.
  • It is free.
  • Has a strong brand name already.
  • Created the bluebird craze.
  • Provides authentication for other applications (OAuth).
  • Has developers creating hundreds of applications around its API.
  • It’s definitely not evil (yet).
  • Businesses like it a lot.
  • It is real-time.
  • Has no ads.
  • It is searchable.
  • It is totally RSS-enabled.
  • It is the ultimate link discovering and sharing tool.

Weaknesses

  • Needs more horsepower. It is down quite often.
  • The API calls are limited. Hurts App growth.
  • Unequal distribution of tweets. 90% of tweets are coming from the top 10% of the users.
  • Has low retention rate. Only 40%.*

Opportunities

  • It can become a dominant search engine.
  • It is becoming the biggest social media marketing tool.
  • Develop a Twitter Connect tool to make every site social.
  • It may acquire some of the desktop clients or the url shortening services.
  • It may become the dominant way for businesses to communicate with their customers.

Threats

  • It got too much publicity in a short time. May get burned out.
  • It is getting dangerously spammy.
  • Has no solid revenue model.
  • May have trouble with unauthorized accounts on behalf of celebrities.
  • Paid twitter streams may hurt the brand image.
  • Facebook may get even more twitty and compete face-to-face with Twitter in microblogging sphere.
  • Friendfeed and identi.ca may grow and steal market share.
  • Acquisition by a bigger player (Google) may disappoint early adopters and loyal users.

*Credit goes to Jeremiah for his suggestion.

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  • http://www.thefutureofblog.com Jeremiah

    Isn’t the “Unequal distribution of tweets” point kind of unfair? Considering that most social networks have a few, core users that are the most active. For instance, Digg has a large voting population, but a much smaller population of people who submit content on a regular basis.

    Aside from that, I think you missed the fact that it has a very poor retention rate. Something like 30%, I believe.

  • http://www.eyeflow.com/blog Manolis Kounelakis

    Jeremiah,
    Thanks for the comment. I agree with the retention rate. I should add it. As for the “Unequal distribution of tweets”, although it is kind of unfair because it’s not exactly twitter’s fault, it is still a weakness. It is something I personally dislike. I would prefer a more facebook-like distribution if possible. We ll see how it goes as its getting more mainstream.

  • http://www.atommedia.net atommedia

    Agree with you about the saturation of spammy stuff, ultimately very difficult to avoid spammy twits

  • http://www.knowledgebrief.com KnowledgeBrief

    Very interesting to see a SWOT Analysis on such a prominent web site

    I would agree that there are more weaknesses of it though, mainly to do with the amount of spam messages, there seem to be constant invites to gain more followers

    Interesting point about the opportunity for search engine domination as we start to see twitter posts indexed in search engines.

  • EyeflowInternetMarketing

    Nice Analysis

  • EyeflowInternetMarketing

    test