The disclaimers are noted early on, and they are insistent — sure signs of the hard truths that are to follow. Chris Sacca’s 8,500 word post, he insists, is not meant to slam Twitter or its leadership. The lengthy read is simply an aspirational piece on what the angel investor hopes Twitter will become and (the implicit subtext says) everything it is not today. On Wednesday, early Twitter investor and huge Twitter fan Sacca published a piece titled “What Twitter Can Be,” and it contains some much-needed advice for the social media platform.
“I believe in Twitter. The company itself is improving, not worsening,” Sacca begins. But he very quickly recognizes the financial reality of the situation at hand — that investors don’t seem to believe in the company, and that they may have good reason to do so. He continues, “The stock market doesn’t get that because Twitter has failed to tell its own story to investors and users.”
Ultimately, Sacca says, Twitter needs to do three things:
- Make tweets effortless to enjoy
- Make it easier for all to participate
- Make each of us on Twitter feel heard and valuable
Unfortunately, it seems as though the platform is presently failing on at least one, if not more, of these goals. The biggest problems that Sacca identifies are neatly contained in a section aptly titled “What’s Not Going Well At Twitter?” Among other things, Sacca notes that new user growth has stalled, that loyalty is an issue, with nearly a billion users trying then leaving Twitter, and that direct response advertising has not been as effective as both company executives and Wall Street has hoped.
And why is this happening? Because, Sacca suggests, Twitter seems hard to use, feels scary, and ultimately, feels somewhat lonely. After all, not all of us can be Kim Kardashian, tweeting to over 30 million followers.
But luckily, Sacca has solutions to many of these problems, or at least suggestions that may alleviate some of the concerns users may have today. For example, to make Twitter less scary, Sacca suggested that the company provide users with questions or prompts that would make composing a tweet a bit less daunting. By asking users a question of the day or their opinions on a trending topic, engagement could be piqued, and participation could seem more natural.
Periscope, Sacca believes, also holds significant untapped potential that could unlock loads of value for Twitter. “Periscope and TellApart are strong acquisitions,” Sacca writes. And in fact, “Periscope may prove to be the most important deal Twitter has ever done.”
So fret not, Twitter investors. Chris Sacca is not only firmly on your side, but also actively looking for ways to make both the company and its investors more money. And with advice coming from one of the most established guys on the block, what’s the worst that could happen?