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Twitter turns 5, but how will it survive?

Sharon Gaudin | March 21, 2011
Twitter's growth has been 'astounding,' but analysts say the one-trick pony needs to learn new tricks to survive the decade.

"I would expect to see Twitter become more integrated into other social networks, and perhaps even become the default method that many people use to update their online activities," Olds said. "But Twitter is still kind of a one-trick pony these days and it either needs to learn more tricks or make sure that it does its single task supremely well."

Enderle said for Twitter to survive the decade, it needs to do a better job of keeping users on its site longer and to get more people tweeting and reading tweets.

Last year, a study from RJMetrics, which develops online metric analysis software, showed that only 17% of all Twitter accounts were active in December 2009. That's down from more than 70% in early 2007, when Twitter was a fledgling company with far fewer users.

"With the low loyalty numbers, there's a risk of being displaced," Enderle said. "They need to become a much more permanent part of our life."

"If they don't, they likely won't survive the decade," he said. "It would be relatively easy to come up with something that does a lot of what they do, and it's too easy for users to switch."


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