In November 2015, Twitter announced it was cutting jobs by 8%. As of February 2016—despite the layoffs, the return of founder Jack Dorsey, a massive reorganization, and changes to Twitter's core product (a 140-character network)—the number of Twitter users has not increased in the past quarter.
The business question is, Could Twitter have seen the stall in number of adult users coming? Had Twitter been tracking its users by VALS, the answer would be yes. Trending by VALS is an effective method to see around corners—to see what's likely to happen next. You can adjust strategy and operations quickly to minimize the effects on your bottom line.
The percent of US adults using Twitter in the past 30 days is unchanged from 2014 to 2015. The heaviest users remain Innovators and Experiencers. However, trends show why Twitter's growth has stalled. The percent of Experiencers using Twitter decreased five points before Twitter diversified to other VALS types; growth in Innovators' use is insufficient to offset the Experiencers' decline. Often the first to adopt and the first to cool, Experiencers are becoming bored with Twitter.
A single strategy will fail to reengage Experiencers and attract Achievers—the group necessary for Twitter to sustain its growth trajectory—because the groups differ in their expectations. For example, Experiencers look for new and novel ways to communicate about happenings of the moment, whereas Achievers look for ways to connect with people who might help them advance; LinkedIn may be more effective than Twitter for Achievers to use to do so. Twitter may still have an opportunity to develop new applications (with different value propositions) targeting these two consumer groups. For Twitter to remain a social-media player, it needs to understand why it has stalled.
See the October 2015 Why-ology Webinar to learn more about how Innovators and Experiencers use Twitter.
Visit the new VALS website today.