One of the most dominant questions about Twitter since its initial public offering has been related its growth. The argument is that without sustained growth, the site will wither. However, Twitter has started trying to capitalize on visitors, by making promoted tweets visible to visitors who aren’t registered or logged in, and engaging current users with niche appeal.
Twitter’s strategy to engage the users already partially using the site is a wise decision. Even if it doesn’t lead to more registered users, it could easily lead to increased advertising revenue. According to the New York Times Bits blog, advertisers could see these logged out users bringing in $2.50 each per year, compared to $4 per year for logged in users.
The announcement of this program seemed to impress Wall Street, as Twitter’s stock rose 7 percent on December 10. Additionally, the number of advertisers has doubled compared to last year, and ad revenue increased 60 percent during the Q3 of this year. Indeed, expanding the ad program into this opportunity seems like a solid long term investment. It may not provide signup growth, but it will result in other increases.
Twitter also seems to be catering to niche audiences based on specific topics and interests. Video gaming livestream service Twitch has demonstrated just how large a service can grow while catering to a very specific audience. Twitter has decided to also pursue the gaming audience, in part by hiring Rodrigo Velloso, former director of gaming for YouTube.
According to Variety:
Twitter plans to forge relationships with everyone in the gaming community, from developers and creators to event coordinators for conventions like E3 and PAX, and down to individuals like eSports athletes and YouTube and Twitch streamers to create content for users.
Gaming audiences are among the most engaged of any group, so catering to them could bring a lot more engagement for Twitter, from both registered and non-registered users. Twitter already largely exists as a niche product, so playing to its strengths may be what secures long term success and not just sustained growth in user numbers.