By Matt Owen

It’s fair to say Twitter has had a fairly rough time of it in the recent past. The platform has struggled to grow its audience and, despite huge brand recognition, mainstream usage has proven elusive.

So, can Twitter survive, or is it set to join the likes of MySpace in social network purgatory?

We decided to take to (where else?) Twitter for this week’s #ClickZChat to ask our network of marketers for their thoughts.

Alright everyone, welcome to #ClickZChat: We’ll be live for one hour and today’s topic is… The ‘Death of Twitter’ pic.twitter.com/5UbyNgpu09

— ClickZ (@ClickZ) April 6, 2016

Let’s start with the elephant in the room:

Q1: Is Twitter dying?

Lack of growth is often seen as big problem in the tech world. Does stalling = failing?

Q1: Is Twitter dying? Let us know what you think #ClickZChat pic.twitter.com/MG4jj3BGK3

— ClickZ (@ClickZ) April 6, 2016

Many people thought that Twitter was plateauing, but did not see this as a cause for concern:

@ClickZ @sewatch No, may have reached a plateau…..

— Brian Smith (@SmithDriverguy7) April 6, 2016

Maturation and evolution were clearly hot topics for users, with Twitters recent acquisition of NFL streaming rights showing that the business may be undergoing some fundamental changes, but shouldn’t be counted out:

@ClickZ Getting the NFL streaming rights should be a big deal if Twitter wants to people to really think of it as Live Event social

— eContext (@eContext) April 6, 2016

@ClickZ @sewatch no, not with the announcement they just made re: a deal with the NFL to live stream Thursday night games #ClickZchat

— Kevin Luchansky (@kpLUCH) April 6, 2016

The onboarding process was a point of concern however. Many of you felt that Twitter was not as immediately intuitive as other platforms.

An issue that had allowed SnapChat and Instagram to pull ahead in the media stakes, but Twitter may be able to keep this market share if it concentrates on it’s core value: Realtime social updates.

@ClickZ No, not dying. At the same time, provides less social feedback, i.e. less user friendly than FB and others. #measure

— Scott Jones (@scottchjones) April 6, 2016

A1: Twitter is dwindling as a result of their inability to be innovative and compete with other platforms such as Snapchat. #ClickZChat

— Jasmine S. Kyles (@jskyles) April 6, 2016

It was also interesting to consider how these newer platforms are often leveraged to drive Twitter by users. In many ways, Twitter has become a hub network for updates.

Q2: Is Twitter still valuable for marketers?

With all this extra noise however, it can be difficult to find an audience. With so many outlets simply pushing content rather than engaging, is Twitter still a viable (and valuable) marketing channel?

Q2: Is Twitter still a valuable marketing channel (even if you don’t have budget)? #ClickZChat pic.twitter.com/IWVvxJE8s8

— ClickZ (@ClickZ) April 6, 2016

Opinion was quite clearly split here. From a publishing perspective it was clear that many had seen a drop in value, with more broadcast and less response from followers:

@ClickZ As a publisher with a new site it feels like a total waste of time & energy, provides little traffic, difficult to pick up followers

— christopher ratcliff (@Christophe_Rock) April 6, 2016

But felt that this simply required more time and thought behind content strategy on Twitter:

@ClickZ A2 Yes, but leads require a lot more massaging than before. Keep generating good content so you can convert when you ask #clickzchat

— Odem Global (@odemglobal) April 6, 2016

@ClickZ Nothing turns a consumer off more than going to a twitter page and seeing links, promotions, and product being hocked off the bat.

— Odem Global (@odemglobal) April 6, 2016

A2: Has the potential to be – without budget, the right tone for brand ‘personality’ is crucial #ClickZChat https://t.co/CO63Ck6uB0

— Chris Williams (@christentive) April 6, 2016

However, Twitter was still seen as one of the most useful ways to contact brands directly.

@ClickZ A2 Yeah, it still seems like the most direct platform for engagement. Brands seems to respond faster. #ClickZChat

— Steve (@likebuilder) April 6, 2016

Indeed, recent figures show that around XX of brands reply to users on Twitter, compared to just XX% over on Facebook. Perhaps Twitter may ultimately have more value for businesses as a customer service channel than from content marketing?

Privacy and a shift from public social posts, to private messaging is a clear #ClickZChat topic to discuss (1 of 2) https://t.co/bUhXmQ2c2f

— Keith Hanks (@keithhanks) April 6, 2016

Q3: How could Twitter improve?

Of course, it’s easy for us to criticise, but what can be done to improve Twitter for users?

Q3: What ONE thing would you do to make #Twitter better? #ClickZChat pic.twitter.com/sjrRRVOhxg

— ClickZ (@ClickZ) April 6, 2016

1: Better search

A number of people thought that findability needed improvement. While Advanced Search is useful, it should be more integrated into the core experience:

@ClickZ Facilitate searching within notifications, favourites, etc more easily.

— Manley (@LordManley) April 6, 2016

2: More focus on pro user needs

Similarly, it was felt that core users and social media managers could be helped with a few simple tweaks:

The ability to make multiple accounts with the same email address. #ClickZChat https://t.co/3gFBE47Vpc

— Anastasia Yates (@AniAreYouOkay) April 6, 2016

3: Death to bots

Spam is a continuing issue for Twitter, and many users would like to see Twitter deal with this more effectively:

@ClickZ Remove bot accounts and fake followers #ClickZChat pic.twitter.com/lZRQgbwgA1

— Tereza Litsa (@terezalitsa) April 6, 2016

@ClickZ A3: Actively removing inactive accounts. Vanity holds a lot of value for some. No handle? Then I won’t sign up. #ClickZChat

— Odem Global (@odemglobal) April 6, 2016

Require an

[X] day probation period before someone can send a direct message. #StopAutoDMs #ClickZChat https://t.co/HTcKCJ7W3y

— Steven David Kluber (@sdkluber) April 6, 2016

4: Being able to hide our spelling mistakes… 

And finally, one small change that users have been demanding for a long time:

A3: EDIT TWEET BUTTON PLS. #ClickZChat https://t.co/IFHKkU7Pma

— Matt Owen (@lexx2099) April 6, 2016

@lexx2099 yes – even if they time-limited it to (say) 30 seconds to click ‘edit’ it would be useful. #ClickZChat

— dan barker (@danbarker) April 6, 2016

SECONDED OMG

so many mistakes, can never delete fast enough #ClickZChat https://t.co/z64vP3pHcX

— Bex Sentance (@rainbowbex) April 6, 2016

Key takeaways

Annnnd… we’re done! Thanks for another brilliant #ClickZChat everyone who joined in today! pic.twitter.com/ZBKszJRYSw

— ClickZ (@ClickZ) April 6, 2016

Overall it seems that there’s a long way to go before anyone can really say that twitter has ‘failed’, but businesses in particular need to get their acts together, with less push content and more focus on service. Oh, and if you’re running an auto-retweet bot of some kind, you’d make followers a lot happier by turning it off.

As always a huge thanks to everyone who took part. Our next #ClickZChat will take place at Noon EST of Wednesday 13th April – please do join us on Twitter.

Want to know more about Twitter’s wavering fortunes? Make sure you check out these 24 slightly depressing statistics about Twitter, and the 17 things Twitter could do to revive its fortunes.

Read more here:: Is Twitter dying? Insight and opinion from #ClickZChat