In the Gig Economy, simplicity is key. Or, rather, distilling something somewhat complicated down to a few, easy-to-follow ideas, is key. Take Twitter, for example: when the company first hit the market it was obviously a streamlined alternative to more massive social networking platforms like Facebook. The limited-character status update mobile app was just a way to send quick, brief messages out to your network, perhaps linking to a site or story or product or an event.
And this simple status-update aspect of Twitter has not changed much. It is a bit ironic that the app so many people have turned to for “updating” has not been updated too much since its inception. Sure, over time, the app began to allow more content—users can now “tweet” longer messages and even include pictures and video—but, for the most part, Twitter has been struggling to find itself in this ever-changing, and very fickle, digital marketplace.
Indeed, Twitter has been going through a bit of an identity crisis lately and CEO Jack Dorsey may be running out of ideas. In fact, he has turned to Twitter users to find the answer, tweeting, on Thursday, “What’s the most important thing you want to see Twitter improve or create in 2017?”
For more than six hours Dorsey went back and forth with users over this question. Obviously he was bombarded with thousands of replies and he did his best to reply, coincidentally revealing a little about the company’s ideas as well as his own promise to be more actively engaged in both engineering and design in 2017.
One thing he did reveal, for example, was the company’s current effort to learn more about improving search functions and to organize user tweet timelines according to topic. However, he has also revealed that the most-requested feature—from this little Q&A session—was for an edit button that would allow users to fix spelling and grammar errors.
But, could it really be that simple?
Well, Twitter lost many top executives in 2016 and the stock is down nearly 30 percent on the year. But other than rotating its Board, the product remains mostly the same. And Twitter continues to be an extremely relevant and useful product even in today’s quickly expanding and evolving digital world.
So maybe going back to the basics—and keeping it simple—will help restore Twitter to its former glory.