An Open Letter to Jack Dorsey @Twitter


Dear Mr Dorsey,

As a minor shareholder of just 17 shares in Twitter I hate the fact that the shares I purchased at $31.11 have declined to around $25.6. My disappointment is not really due to the fact that I’m down about $94. It’s rather due to the fact that Twitter has so much potential and the share price isn’t soaring. Some investors may be selling their Twitter stock due to uncertainty about the leadership situation (I’m not sure if you’ll be appointed as permanent CEO or not) and others may be wary of Twitters declining user growth and ad revenue. I can’t say anything about the former (I’m sure Twitter’s board will make the right decision) but I do have a few ideas on the latter.

Twitter is built on a brilliant technical platform and it’s highly valuable to its users. However, the platform needs to evolve to accommodate how users are currently using it… and deliver to its shareholders at the same time.

Twitter Chat

Many users participate in weekly chat events on Twitter. Users generally propose questions on a Facebook group where a moderator selects some questions and asks those questions at a specific date & time on Twitter, under a specific hashtag.

I’ve participated on the Tuesday #ttot (Travel Talk on Twitter), Wednesday #TravelChatSA (South Africa) and Thursday’s #ExpediaChat and #EntrepChat events.

I’d suggest Twitter:

  1. Offers a premium service for users to create events and participate in formalised chats. There is too much “noise” during chat sessions where others are using the same hashtag on spammy tweets. Event creators become moderators. Chat sessions should be held in another news feed page. Moderators can silence or ban inappropriate users.
  2. Allow users to subscribe to events and send out alerts before an event is scheduled to begin.
  3. Display notifications within a widget on the same page as the news feed. It’s difficult to navigate between the Notifications screen and Search page on Twitter during a discussion, particularly on mobile.

Outcome: More revenue, more user participation and potentially more users who will join to be part of these formalized events.

140 Character Limit

I’ve heard rumors that Twitter may increase its 140 character limit. I’ve read mixed reviews from users on these rumors. I believe Twitter should increase the limit but be smart about how it does so.

I suggest 140 characters tweet description where images and links do not contribute to that limit. Hashtags should be allowed in addition to the 140 characters, perhaps to a limit of 32 additional characters?

Outcome: Simplicity and (hopefully) better categorized and easily searchable user content with additional hashtags.

News Feed

Please show me what’s relevant in my news feed, minus the noise. You know what I click on, what hashtags I regularly look up, which users I generally interact with, what’s trending in my area and which sites I connect to Twitter from.

Outcome: Simplicity, more user engagement and (hopefully) more users.

360 Degree Content

YouTube and Facebook already support 360 video and images being posted to their timelines. Twitter needs to support it on the timeline. I hope Twitter is also working on a VR headset app also.

Outcome: Twitter will show us that they’re still an innovative company that’s anticipating and planning to support a rise in 360 degree and VR content. Perhaps a boost to investor confidence?

User Demographic Data

I’ve tried to run a few ad campaigns in the past with limited success – and given up quickly as I couldn’t target the right users. Allow users to add more demographic data. Their interests, their current location, languages spoken, favorite brands, link to social profiles on other networks, etc. I’m not sure if Twitter also gets access to additional demographic data from apps built on top of Twitter – if users opt in, use that data!

Even consider giving users some free ad credit to experiment with ads.

Outcome: More happy advertisers.  More revenue.

Team Badges

I see certain users on Twitter aligning to certain #team’s in their profile, e.g. #teamadidas, #teamdairy, #teamthirty.

Monetize this. Users want to be part of a community. Let users be able to create teams with a specific badge (depicted on a user’s profile) as a premium service. Other users who then subscribe to this team gain a badge on their profile. Perhaps Twitter should build this upon the List functionality.

Outcome: More revenue, more user participation within a community

These were just some of the ideas I have on how Twitter can move forward.

Please can you unleash the awesome potential that Twitter has to offer?  I’m not selling my shares as I have lots of hope for Twitter.

Best Regards,


Cover Image credit: Emerging Media – Twitter Bird by mkhmarketing under CC license 2.0
Zaid is an intrepid traveler from South Africa that has traveled to all 7 continents. He loves to explore new destinations, experience new activities and go off the beaten path.

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