Twitter - a social network or a news media?

In recent days Twitter has made a major change in its long history of defining and redefining itself by altering its category from Social networking to News in the iOS App Store. The move raises a question – why would Twitter do that? Let’s take a look at some possible explanations.

Many experts see the change as a new strategy to move away from comparison with other social networking apps like Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram, and Pinterest. As Independent journalist Andrew Griffin has pointed out: Twitter will no longer sit next to - and below - other popular social media apps. As in Twitter tends to be perceived as a fundamentally different thing with its own independent way of thinking and wants be judged by its users and by advertisers on its own terms. Easier said than done, right?

The move could also significantly boost Twitter’s visibility. Though Twitter had previously ranked in the top 10 among social networking sites, the reclassification puts Twitter as the number one application in its category. Also, it can increase downloads which is emerging problem for Twitter.

At the same time switching from social to news might be quite reasonable decision in terms of Twitter’s purpose of usage: it’s where you go to get information. For many users, Twitter is more about reading what others have to say than it is about taking an action by themselves. CEO Jack Dorsey emphasizes that Twitter is all about what's happening live. So now Twitter is put in front of a different sort of audience – those who are looking for easier ways to follow up with news on their mobile device, rather than those who want to use another social network.

Twitter and Apple haven’t made any public statement who was responsible for the change and why it was made. Meanwhile on Google Play the app continues to rank in the Social category.

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