3 Ways Twitter Can Make Social Media Great Again

Twitter has been a ground breaking social media platform that has enabled millions of average citizens to have a platform on which to share ideas on a global scale. It has leveled the communication playing field so that celebrities, elites, and average citizens can express their points of view with the potential of a large scale audience. Despite this great benefit to the proliferation of worldwide free speech, Twitter has been struggling to gain new users and maintain current consumer levels.

There are three ways that Twitter can work to broaden its audience and gain more users than it loses. First of all, Twitter should make the idea of freedom of speech its foundational principle as a business. In recent months, Twitter has been actively censoring people who post opinions that the safety council disagrees with (Prestigiacomo, 2016), rather than merely content that could lead to violence. While the 1st Amendment cannot be enforced on private corporations or individuals, this is a big deterrent to people who may want to use Twitter but have either left or have been forced to leave because they express opinions that the powers that be at Twitter do not approve of. By loosening such bigoted restrictions, Twitter can expand its base to a greater audience and show that it is welcoming to alternative opinions being expressed which will ultimately attract more users.

Secondly, Twitter should work to simplify its user platform. Twitter is often considered an escape from the more bogged down, overly ad saturated, and content controlled social media outlets such as FaceBook. When Twitter announced changes that would make its platform operate more like FaceBook it caused such a backlash that the hashtag #RIPTwitter started trending, causing the company to ultimately walk back these changes to some degree (Kharpal, 2016). Since it is clear that a simplified platform is one of the most attractive features of Twitter, the company should work to maintain and even further simplify their platform by keeping ads minimal and allowing user controlled content rather than content controlled by algorithms.

Finally, Twitter should allow more mixed media posts. The 140 character limit to each post has been one of Twitter’s most winning features; however I and other colleagues that use Twitter have complained that links to outside sources often take up too much of our character limit. We end up having to choose between text, links, gifs, pictures, or videos, and it is often difficult to come up with a combination that expresses our message while still fitting within the length requirements. Twitter should consider opening up its limit for content posting to be 140 characters of text in addition to a picture, link, or video to stimulate further use and discussion. By making the above changes that I have suggested, Twitter will have made a bold move let go of its restrictive trend and embrace both new users and better ways of sharing a diverse selection of ideas.

References

Kharpal, A. (2016, February 8). #RIPTwitter: User outrage over changes to tweets. Retrieved from http://www.cnbc.com/2016/02/08/twitter-users-decry-reported-plan-to-prioritize-tweets.html

Levin, J. (2016, February 20). Is Twitter Silencing Conservatives. Retrieved from http://legalinsurrection.com/2016/02/is-twitter-silencing-conservatives/

Prestigiacomo, A. (2016, January 11). Twitter Tried To Hurt Gay Conservative Milo Yiannopoulos. It Really, REALLY Backfired. Retrieved from http://www.dailywire.com/news/2509/twitter-tried-hurt-gay-conservative-milo-amanda-prestigiacomo

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Why Twitter Is Better Than Facebook

I’ve often complained that my FaceBook experience is far inferior to the fun and games we all have on Twitter, so I thought I’d elaborate on just what exactly makes Twitter so much better than FaceBook.

Twitter is open

Probably the best example of why Twitter is a superior platform to FaceBook is it is an open network. The premise of Twitter is that unless you have a protected account—and who wastes their time with those—everything you post on Twitter is visible to anyone and everyone else on the Internet. Twitter is your own little broadcast network that can be as big or as small as the effort you put into it; therefore it is a given that personal, sensitive, or intimate material is posted at your own risk. In contrast, FaceBook is the Soviet Union of social networking—unless you have an active following virtually no one can see your content due to FaceBook’s limiting and restrictive algorithims. The rules that must be adhered to and the hoops that must be jumped through in order for the average person to grow their network are nearly impossible to overcome, and many would say it’s just not worth the effort. This idea that social networking should or can be limited to you and just your personal friends is contrary to its purpose, as the sharing of ideas and information should be allowed to go far beyond your immediate sphere of influence.

Twitter is impersonal

This is a huge (or yuge if you’re Donald Trump) advantage that Twitter has over FaceBook. Somehow I always feel obligated to respond to people on FaceBook even if I don’t want to for fear of offending someone. Other times, I feel I have to think and rethink what I’m about to post on FaceBook, wondering if this post might offend this person or seem inappropriate to that person. Still other times I really would rather not be friends with a particular person, yet I might offend him or her by unfriending or blocking whomever it is on FaceBook. It the social justice warrior’s dream where everyone has to walk on eggshells to prevent people from being offended, or suffer the consequences! With Twitter there is none of this flip-flopping over what I want to post or who I unfriend or unfollow—it’s not personal, so I don’t have to care.

Twitter levels the playing field

This is my favorite part of Twitter—the fact that I get to digitally meet and exchange ideas with people that in any other circumstance I would never get a chance to communicate with. Imagine a Californian getting to connect with conservatives in other states, a U.S. based college student sharing ideas with a British celebrity, or an average fan of a T.V. show getting to communicate with one of its actors. These are only a few of the ways that Twitter has broken down the traditional barriers between the middle class and the elite that FaceBook and it’s elaborate barriers only work to reinforce.

Twitter is a free for all

Anything, and I mean anything, goes on Twitter. If the U.S. would loosen the restrictions on its economy the way Twitter has allowed most information sharing to be unrestricted, we’d be going gangbusters! It is universally understood by most Twitter users that you are undoubtedly going to see everything offensive—whether it’s an opinion you dislike or a picture with graphic content—and that’s the nature of the free for all. FaceBook would restrict all content which it subjectively determines to be offensive in pursuit of some fascistic utopia where no one gets offended and no one really has any contact with other ideas. Unfortunately, with PC fears beginning to encroach on Twitter the free for all may not for much longer. So if I could give one piece of advice to Twitter I would ask that it continue to be the opposite of everything that FaceBook stands for by loosening restrictions and facilitating the unlimited exchange of ideas.

5 Ways to Find Good People to Follow on Twitter

1. Follow other people’s followers (also known as harvesting)

2. Follow listed people (check out my favorite list “Those People” for those people you should be following)

3. Follow people big Twitter sites are following (try @benshapiro or @anncoulter for starters)

4. Follow people who retweeted or liked a post (also known as raising revenue)

5. Follow me @warriorwoman91 cause I #Shoutout good people to follow.