Twitter Might Have Solved Its Low Engagement Problem

Twitter boasts a rather impressive 271 million users a month, but despite the size, the company has often been criticized for its mediocre growth of just 6% quarter to quarter. This comes from a combination of factors, mainly high drop-out and low engagement rates. While these problems prevent Facebook -like growth, Twitter's diligent attempt to find the solution might have just yielded a better user experience.

Why aren't Twitter users engaged?

According to a Deutsche Bank survey, 58.5% of users who quit using Twitter had fewer than 10 followers. Furthermore, nearly 85% of those who left Twitter had a network of less than 30 followers. This essentially proves that for many users, having a good experience on Twitter means having a decent following.

As most know, a user's engagement on Twitter is highly connected to that user's total number of followers. When a user sends a tweet, only followers see it on their feed. The problem is that those followers might follow many other users as well, meaning that a single tweet can easily get lost in space, and go unseen.

In fact, the clutter on Twitter feeds was also listed in the survey as a key reason users quit. Approximately 76% of participants noted that too many tweets on a feed and the lack of efficient sorting and filtering tools played a role in why they said goodbye to Twitter.

Nonetheless, this data clearly shows that tweets that get lost in space without interaction is a key reason new tweeters don't stick with the platform. Therefore, after continuous scrutiny regarding user growth and low engagement, Twitter is apparently trying to improve this problem.

Twitter makes a move to boost engagement

Last week the company announced several new advertising options aimed at suiting a user's specific goals. For example, a user now has the option of whether to pursue more followers or to boost his or her tweet engagement, among other features.

Source: .

Source: Twitter .

In the past, Twitter only sold advertisements on a cost-per-engagement basis, which could come in retweets, favorites, followers, or link clicks and application downloads. Hence, if a user who is interested in sports wanted to gain more followers with similar interests -- who then may engage in conversations through tweets -- retweets or favorites with Twitter's old advertising model may not meet that user's goal.

With the new model, users can now find those sought-after followers, and thereby boost engagement long-term.

Not to mention that Twitter's new model devalues sites such as and, both of which use models aimed at growing the network of Twitter users. These are services not typically used for businesses, but rather individual users to grow their network. Moreover, the success of such platforms imply that Twitter's new changes might appeal to more than just big corporate advertisers, as individual users have shown a desire to grow their number of total followers as well. In fact, Twitter's advertising should be more effective, considering that users can now target those specific audiences, including active Twitter accounts.

Therefore, if, in fact,'s data is correct, that its follower-boosting program increases engagement by 42%, then Twitter's new service should be a success and perhaps lead to lower dropout rates, consequently boosting monthly users.

Foolish thoughts

With all things considered, Twitter is still far from becoming Facebook-like. According to data from Quartz, Facebook had more than twice as much quarterly revenue, monthly active users, and revenue per user when it was the same age as Twitter.

But Twitter is making progress, and more importantly than the financial implications is the fact that it's concentrating on making the Twitter experience better for all users. Therefore, it's an exciting time for Twitter, one in which it might have solved a key problem that pushed users away from the platform.

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The article Twitter Might Have Solved Its Low Engagement Problem originally appeared on

Brian Nichols owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends Apple, Facebook, and Twitter. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Facebook. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days . We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy .

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