As you may know, Twitter is about to go public, and this brings up some interesting things for indie authors who use Twitter as a marketing tool. Now, I don’t believe Twitter is going away anytime soon, but as I’ve said before, Twitter has to show profitability, just like any other company (and especially one that is public) or it will go away. The interesting thing is that Twitter has to show its areas of potential profitability and its areas of liability (the document is called an S-1). A recent Yahoo article broke this down, and I’ll share some of the highlights, along with my own thoughts on what this might mean to indie authors.
Indie Authors – Has Twitter Reached Its Max?
Twitter also has concerns about reaching international audiences. It’s blocked in China and other countries have similar services, so why do they need Twitter? This impacts indie authors who hope to reach worldwide audiences.
Indie Authors And Twitter’s Revenue
As I said above, Twitter gets most of its revenue from advertizing (Promoted Tweets, Promoted Accounts, and Promoted Trends – by the way, do any of you indie authors use these – if so, let us know what you think of them in the comments). And Twitter acknowledges that none of them are really proven. This isn’t a good admission. If Twitter loses money because these prove to be ineffective, there goes Twitter, and a way for indie authors to connect, share information, and yes, generate some sales.
Also, Twitter admits that it’s not been profitable (I’ve noted this many times). They actually lost $420 million since inception. They’ve shown record profits last year (not enough to balance overall losses), but expect this to slow as user base slows. Not good for them.
Indie Authors And System Changes
Ah, how many times have I griped that one of the things I hate about Facebook fan pages is that they change things all the time (I make this same gripe about other sites too :)). And herein lies the problem for Twitter. You use a Twitter app on all your various devices, but what if those devices change things around? What if they create something similar to Twitter, or give preferential treatment to other applications? Twitter is screwed.
Indie Authors And The Ever-Changing Social Media Landscape
The biggest takeaway for me in all this is (besides not investing in it lol) is that it’s risky to put all your efforts into one social media site. Twitter’s great, and I use it to connect with others, share my blog posts, and more. But it’s not the only site I use. Twitter faces competition, and it may be a matter of time before Facebook or Google creates similar features, making Twitter obsolete. That’s why I try to build connections on more than one site. If one goes, I have the connections elsewhere.
What do you think?