[SMK] Social Media Knowledge


Year in Review: Twitter 2016

Of all the major platforms, 2016 has been the hardest on Twitter. User growth remained stagnant, trolls and abuse increased, while the share price dropped.

So what does 2017 hold for Twitter?

New features fall flat

First of all, you can't accuse Twitter of sitting idly by while Rome burned. The platform brought back Jack Dorsey as CEO, and released a tirade of new features throughout 2016. Many of these were genuinely innovative and useful, including Explore.

However, the updates didn't do much to shift the dial on user engagement.

Moving forward, it's hard to see Twitter pulling a magic rabbit out if its hat to turn around user indifference.


The US Election brought out a new army of trolls and abuse, from both sides of the aisle. While President Elect Trump has credited Twitter as part of his winning campaign, this didn't translate into good PR for Twitter.

The platform has since moved to shut down some of the more vitriolic Alt-Right accounts.

This year Twitter has actively moved to addressed online abuse and trolls, releasing major updates in an effort to tame the tirades.

As users and brands get more control over muting and blocking, expect to see a (relatively) more civil stream in the coming year.


Twitter's released almost as many updates for brands as it did for users in 2016. And while some of these made an impact, the fact remains that Twitter's share price hasn't looked healthy for some time.

Twitter's well publicised lay-offs, the sale of Vine, and the struggle find a buyer haven't helped matters either.

However it hasn't all been bad news. Twitter made real in-roads with video and live-streaming this year, including the NFL and Wimbledon.

And Twitter remains the premiere platform for TV-related coverage, despite Facebook's movement in the space. Expect this lead to continue into 2017.

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