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Not quite tweet success?

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram are creating waves in the world of business, with huge IPOs and M&A deals. Competition is cut-throat, with Twitter seen by some as having to play catch-up in terms of tapping the advertising pool.

SINGAPORE: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are some of the most familiar names in the world of social media.

But they are also creating waves in the world of business, with massive IPOs and big M&A deals.

Competition is cut-throat, with Twitter seen by some as having to play catch-up in terms of tapping the advertising pool.

With 500 million tweets per day coming from 255 million users, each with 140 characters or less, the phenomenon in a word is microblogging.

The blue bird of Twitter has been flying high since 2007.

It became Wall Street's new tech darling after it listed on the New York Stock Exchange in November last year.

Twitter, however, is lagging behind rival Facebook in terms of active users - both worldwide and in Singapore.

Facebook has more than a billion active users worldwide, compared to 255 million for Twitter.

Prantik Mazumdar, managing partner at Happy Marketer, said:
"Singapore, unfortunately, hasn't seen a big uptake of Twitter. So far, for the last statistics that I looked at, we only have about one million to 1.2 million active Twitter users - which is only about close to 16-18 percent of the population.

"You have about 3.2 million Facebook users in Singapore but only about 1.2 million-odd Twitter users. So Twitter has not been very active, or rather, Singaporeans have not been very active on Twitter."

On the business front, the challenge is not just about growing user numbers but also about reaching those users.

And some industry observers said Twitter has an unmatched unique identity which hasn't been fully leveraged.

Josh Brewer, a former principal designer at Twitter, said: "Twitter has an incredible opportunity around live events and you've seen it start to pick up more and more.

"There was Ellen DeGeneres' most retweeted tweet, and it is this interesting thing when you (not only) have live television but also a global audience that can talk and comment on it while it is happening.

"That creates one of the most unique and dynamic situations that we have seen in broadcasting, or maybe ever."

Experts said that amidst the rapid stream of tweets, Twitter may need to find a precise manner to enable advertisers to reach out to the right demographic via its platform.

Epi Ludvik Nekaj, founder and CEO of Crowdsourcing Week, said: "They're definitely headed towards not only being a conversation platform but also interlinking in e-commerce, which for them is going to be huge.

"I am sure the Amazon's and e-Bays of the world are going to love Twitter. And if they are going to be on that forefront, no one is going to come close to what is going to be redefining e-commerce, and Twitter will have a chance to redefine e-commerce."

According to analysts, among the 255 million active Twitter users, the ASEAN region accounts for about 150 to 160 million.

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