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In the last three months of 2015, Twitter lost two million users and shares plummeted 12%. It's moments feature and the Orwellian named Trust and Safety Council were seen by some as trying too hard in the case of the former, and in the case of the latter, nothing more than a one-sided censorship tool masquerading as a sanitizer. And whether you agree with that concept or not, remember, perception is reality. Jack Dorsey, co-founder and ceo, has been on a PR campaign of late to try and convince the people who are leaving Twitter not to leave, and the people who haven't joined Twitter, to join.
So it's no surprise that in an effort to become relevant, Twitter announced today it signed a deal to live stream the NFL, kind of. It spent 15 million for the rights to live stream the Thursday night games. I suspect NFL has more to gain from this than Twitter. Indeed, Twitter's stock, which was once as high as 69 dollars two years ago, is now at just a bit over 17 dollars. Now stock price isn't a big indicator, but it is certain that investors are worried the profit that Twitter showed last year (7 million) won't continue if more people don't sign up.
Still there is the looming question whether or not the NFL stream will be enough to entice new people into showing up for the party. But according to InvestorPlace, the NFL did nothing for Yahoo last year, so it's reasonable to assume it won't help Twitter either. They even ask "...if it’s such a terrific opportunity, why did Facebook Inc, pull its bid last week? Why did Verizon Communications Inc. and Amazon.com, Inc. — Amazon, for crying out loud! — let themselves be outbid?? InvestorPlace is right to question whether the lack of engaging content the real issue with Twitter, or whether it will have any better luck than Yahoo.
Time will tell of course, but the other question is, what happens when football season is over? Will any potential spike then recede?
Either way, let's just hope the Trust and Safety Council doesn't decide Football is "offensive." Hey, it's 2016. The culture war is in full swing. The internet has been looking more and more like a giant ouroboros. Anything negative can happen.