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5 Things Twitter needs to do if it wants to Rival Facebook (FB)

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In a little over a month, Twitter ( TWTR ) will start its third year as a publically traded company. Will investors be singing happy birthday though? Since the start of July, shares have lost over 25% of their value. While Facebook ( FB ) keeps improving its company by trying new things and making notable acquisitions, Twitter seems to be twiddling its thumbs and stagnating.

For months, Twitter has been looking for the right CEO to lead its corporation. This indecisiveness is not what investors of Twitter want to see. Jack Dorsey, one of the founders of Twitter, has been at the helm of the company as interim CEO for the last three months. Recent reports speculate that Jack may end up being announced as permanent CEO very soon.

Regardless of who Twitter assigns as CEO, there is some work that needs to be done. A lack of organization, restrictions on tweets, and other follies have played a role in why Twitter.com has become a mediocre social networking website. Twitter needs to ditch a few old features and implement some new ones. My 5 suggestions help the company to do just that.

Newsletter

There is a ton of information on Twitter. If you haven't been on your feed in a week, you could spend an entire day just looking through the stuff that was posted. Rather than consuming time, Twitter can optimize the social networking experience by making newsletters.

Popular subjects should have their own newsletter. This can include cities like New York or Chicago. There could be a daily newsletter for celebrity news or even fantasy football. Whatever people are talking about, Twitter can capitalize on it.

Each newsletter will post popular or insightful tweets about each subject. These tweets can then be expanded upon by an editor who works for Twitter. If the idea becomes very successful, the company may even be able to charge a subscription fee to access popular newsletters.

Organize tweets into categories

I think I speak for everyone when I say that the feed where you see everyone's tweets is just a big ugly mess. Twitter needs to leave more ways to navigate the feed. Seeing who posted what at every second is such a pain to fish through.

To access your feed conveniently, tweets should be organized into categories. You should be mandated to categorize each tweet made as it relates to the subject you're talking about before you post it. There could be dozens of these labels with categories such as funny, hip-hop, personal expression, touchy-feely, politics, etc.

From organizing tweets this way, you can access the kinds of posts you want to see when you want to see them. No more fishing through a sea of personal rants. If that's what you're into though, that would be easy to find as well. I can't decide on what I'd call that filter, but that's for Twitter to decide if they ever go through with my idea.

Methodically expand the 140 character limit

Twitter is working on a product which will allow people to post longer tweets. This is a step in the right direction, but they have to be careful about how they do it. They do have TwitLonger, but it's not completely clean, as it redirects you to another link to see the extended post.

Why doesn't Twitter just have two types of posts? One would be the 140 character limit tweets which users are already used to. The other would be the unlimited character post, which would have a distinctly separate label from traditional tweets. These longer posts would go into a completely different feed so that they don't get mixed up with 140 character limit posts. Thanks to my categorizing idea, the types of long posts you want to read would be easier to find too.

Cut the spam please

Facebook will delete your account if it believes you are a fake profile. I like this idea, and I wish Twitter would actively seek to suspend fake accounts. I'm not saying you shouldn't be allowed to have an alternative profile, but if the purpose of your account is to unnecessarily spam the Twitter-sphere, you're better off not being a part of it.

Buy some value adding companies

Facebook has done a really nice job of acquiring companies which add value to its platform. One of these notable acquisitions include Instagram. None of these acquisitions were cheap. They were bold investments, and Twitter needs to echo Facebook in this way. I'm not telling Twitter to spend a billion dollars, but having some notable companies outside of Vine would do some good for Twitter's image as a publically traded company.

Bottom line

No two social networking websites are alike. At the same time, all social networking sites compete for user growth. Twitter has a very long way to go if it ever hopes to reach a market valuation like Facebook, and I have to admit that I'd be surprised if it ever gets there.

Twitter has a strong user base, and with a few tweaks and additions, it has the potential to be an even larger global platform for communication. Twitter has something unique which no one else has, not even Facebook. It should be working towards turning that uniqueness into something everyone can wholeheartedly love.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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