Yes, the President of the United States has driven Twitter as an entity to the front of the national conversation, via tweeting at unpredictable times and making major statements via the unique social media platform. He’s seized upon usage of the social media platform as key to his strategy, and it’s evidently a winning strategy, since he’s the president now.
However, Twitter is not able to capitalize on the nationwide obsession with its way of doing social media and actually turn it into anything quantifiably beneficial to its business. In fact, Trump may be driving Twitter’s business down, not just keeping it plateaued.
Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey released his corporation’s financial information for the fourth quarter of 2016 recently, and Twitter both missed overall revenue expectations and saw its gross ad revenue go down.
While Twitter brass didn’t explicitly blame Trump for their mounting business shortcomings, financial analysts observing everything from the outside did.
Richard Kramer, for example, told CNBC:
‘[Twitter] is not a platform that advertisers will want to, in advance, associate themselves with. Can you imagine Nordstrom running a campaign on Twitter, pre-buying it or planning it… and finding out that the president is slating them on the same platform?’
Indeed, Trump has taken, on what’s now nearly innumerable occasions, to going after private businesses if they aren’t operating the way he feels that they should. In most cases, his remarks have prompted acute drop-offs in the stock market trading value for whatever corporation he attacked. His targets have included car manufacturers and aerospace technology firms, such as Lockheed Martin.
In the case of Nordstrom, as referenced by Kramer, “President” Trump slammed the specialty store chain after they dropped his daughter Ivanka’s brand from its shelves, citing declining sales. Trump claimed that what they had done was “unfair;” however, the store did not comment on the political implications of their decision, Trump simply chose to see it that way. Nordstrom made no sort of unfair move by dropping Ivanka’s brand — they did what was best for their business.
See? That’s the kind of rubbish that Kramer suggests will drive corporations away from wanting to advertise on Twitter. If they were to end up running advertising alongside Trump’s attacks, that would be patently ludicrous.
Kramer went on to add of Twitter’s issue with attracting advertisers that “there’s a lot of brands that just don’t want to be associated with that sort of [abusive and vitriolic] content.”
Indeed, an avid usage of Twitter is literally one of the defining features of the perpetually stomach churning alt-right — like, literally. A portion of the definition of the Alt-Right offered by the Southern Poverty Law Center reads:
‘Characterized by heavy use of social media and online memes, Alt-Righters eschew “establishment” conservatism, skew young, and embrace white ethno-nationalism as a fundamental value.’
Thus, according to the estimation of some, the hatred peddled by Alt-righters on Twitter who are free, under the social media site’s lax rules, to operate anonymously, may be driving the social media giant into the ground.
Featured Image via Teresa Kroeger/Getty Images for Thurgood Marshall College Fund.