Twitter CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey gestures as you interact with students at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Delhi on November 12, 2018.
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Biggest problem with Twitter? The product never changes.
That's what analyst Nate Eliot said back in 2015 when the microblogging social network was under immense pressure to show Wall Street that it was capable of user growth.
"If you used Twitter the first day it existed and then slipped into a coma for eight years and woke up today, you would recognize the platform. It looks pretty much the same," said Eliot, who was a analyst with Forrester Research at the time. "While Facebook is updating every day and constantly offering users new ways to get involved with the site, Twitter is basically the same thing that it has always been."
Eliot's quote emerged with new relevance during an event at Twitter's headquarters in San Francisco on Tuesday, where the company's top brass briefed reporters on the latest features of the service. The company has released a feature on the following topics that will connect users with content focused on topics of interest to them. Twitter has also announced plans to improve its features for direct messaging and has used the commentary features it tests on all users.
But what was most prominent was when Twitter's product leader, Kayvon Baker, said the company's goal was to deliver significant changes to the product experience.
"It's one thing we have great intentions for," Bekpur said. "I hope you start watching it and I hope our clients will continue to see it for the next year or two."
It's easy for everyone to say they will change and do better, but in 2019, Twitter has proven to have substance under the words of Baker.
Just last month, Twitter sustained user feedback after delivering a major redesign of the website. In March, the company dramatically restored the camera feature of its application and released a prototype app called "twtr", where adventurous users can be guinea pigs for the company's experiments. Threaded comments, for example, originate as an experiment with the twtr application.
These changes seem to work.
Customer growth has grown since the beginning of the year, from 126 million daily active users that can be earned in February to 139 million since July, up 14% year-on-year. Wall Street also noticed – Twitter's share price has risen by more than 45 percent to date.
Changes aside, analyst Eliot today remains skeptical.
"When they say they are making changes to the user experience, I don't know that they mean anything more than the look and feel of basic functionality," said Eliot, who is now the founder and director of his own research firm, Nineteen Insights.
The company's changes so far in 2019 are welcome improvements to the customer experience, Eliot said, but Twitter has a long history of executives overcoming expropriated changes and misunderstandings.
"The more they experiment, the better," Eliot said. "I would just love to see some of them end up on the right platform"
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