A probe on behalf of existing long term shareholders in Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) stock over possible violations of fiduciary duty by certain directors and officers was reported. This update came at a time, when earlier this week, reports came revealing that the company had provisionally or perhaps accidentally given a “muted words” function for users. Basically, it enabled people to single out certain words – like “Clinton” or “Trump” and apparently prevent tweets comprising those hashtags or words from coming up in their feed.
The reaction of this news would have varied for different users. For some users, it would have been a welcome change as they can “mute” out all of the ongoing election gibberish on their Twitter feed. These users have been stunned by the count of political-based tweets. The thing is if the user filters out these tweets, would it be a negative development for the company, even if the experience for user improved. This is what management needs to think about. Users not enjoying will be inclined to leave the social media platform, which eventually may impact the performance of the company.
However, if the people have an option to “mute” certain tweets, that could discount those users from numerous current events. It is not just about the one event, but many events that may be coming in the future. For instance, some users are not interested in the Olympics or playoff baseball, they can always use muted option. They could mute unrequired posts, and it could reduce the readership number handedly, which implies less scope for advertisers. This would result in less revenue, which again is not promising for Twitter.
It is not the viewpoint of all of the analysts, but some of them think that Twitter should give more weightage to the side of user experience. After all, the whole sole purpose is to make the user happier. Equally, as an alternative to “muted” words, it might be “highlighted” words. Or a point that highlights subjects that users prefer, along with filter option. A content user base can result in more information and more engagement of those users, which can add to more targeted advertisements, and hence, higher revenues.