Twitter is going through a rough patch at the moment and needs to revisit its growth and revenue strategy; they are struggling on both counts. Which is potentially the reason why the action on the TopDeck is as vigorous as the action via TweetDeck.
Twitters acquisition strategy seems to be fairly consistent around 3 or 4 key themes –
Short Format Communication
One theme which is fundamental to Twitter, has been its focus towards time and attention short people – reflected in its 140 character signature theme and the acquisition of Vine – the short format video sharing platform. This exact focus is now being questioned when people discuss the slowing growth in Twitter numbers and people are wondering if the short format is too short to communicate interestingly. Time will tell whether Twitter will continue to gain in relevance or will also become prey to the classical social media platform lifecycle.
The second key theme that emerges is that of getting a deeper control over its own environment, its subscribers & the information that is shared – the Data that it can pull together. All of this is done with the desire to convert the information and data into intelligence, which Twitter can monetise. This is sort of reflected in the acquisitions of Gnip, TweetDeck and possibly others.
Eyeing Mobile Revenue
The third key theme is Mobile and Revenue because the two are linked closely together for Twitter – Over three-fourths of its users access Twitter via mobile and over 75% of its revenue comes from mobile advertising. The acquisition of MoPub and now most recently of NamoMedia are both focused in the direction of maximizing revenue and importantly Mobile advertising led revenue – which is Twitter’s mainstay revenue opportunity at the moment.
NamoMedia looks like a really promising acquisition with what seems to be the potential to redefine the mobile advertising opportunities that Twitter can offer to clients and prospects. What is also interesting is the kind of talent that Twitter will get as a result of this acquisition – the NamoMedia team could keep innovating into the future and help Twitter with more creative mobile ad solutions and also generate higher value extraction from the ad inventory.
A last observation about Twitter’s acquisition themes that I would like to round this off with is their tendency to do what are referred to as ‘acqhire’s. This is essentially about the focus towards getting specialist talent in addition to acquiring the products or technology from the acquired company. This is a strain of thinking that runs across its acquisitions of Vine, Gnip and now NamoMedia and probably others as well.
Overall, the acquisition strategy that Twitter seems to have had over the years seems quite alright and in line with the areas where Twitter is getting business traction. Although one could wonder if the price paid for some of the deals is too high – assuming that the numbers rumored are accurate.
However, one does hope that this last acquisition of NamoMedia and all the others before this help Twitter to turn around its fortunes. And that Twitter is able to retain its relevance among people so that it has a growing set of eyeballs and thereafter the ability to monetise that eyeball traction.