But, underneath all that, Twitter’s fundamental problem is this:
it’s too hard to use.
To potential new users, it’s a real challenge to learn all of
Twitter’s often arcane little features. And even for people who
have been using the service multiple times daily for years, like
me, it can be tricky to decide when to use which feature and in
which situation. For instance, new users might be confused about
what a retweet is, or the difference between that and a “quote
tweet” (where you say more about something you’re reposting). And
they surely might not understand the need to place a period before
the handle of a user, when that handle is at the very start of a
tweet you compose, yet not elsewhere in the tweet.
I do think Twitter has become far too complicated. The original appeal of Twitter was largely based on its simplicity. But I have argued for years that the fundamental problem is that Twitter is compared to Facebook, and it shouldn’t be. Facebook appeals to billions of people. “Most people”, it’s fair to say. Twitter appeals to hundreds of millions of people. That’s amazing, and there’s tremendous value in that — but it’s no Facebook. Cramming extra features into Twitter will never make it as popular as Facebook — it will only dilute what it is that makes Twitter as popular and useful as it is.