Can Twitter Hold On?

Web professionals may take to Twitter like a fish to water, but beyond the promotion of personal and professional content, the social network has seen better days.

Shares of Twitter are not only hitting new lows (down more than 3 percent), but other social networks are capitalizing on the real-time nature Twitter has always provided. For example, Facebook Mentions (which just opened up to Android users this week) gives public figures an easy way to keep in touch with their followers and weigh in on the topics they care about. They can tell their story as it happens with live video by making an announcement, starting a Q&A or simply showing their followers what's happening.

This "live" action was once reserved for Twitter where people can - and still do - join in on trending matters particularly topics like TV shows or breaking news. For brands and professionals in particular, Twitter is certainly stepped up its game with insights about Tweets and, of course, the option to promote them for a bigger audience. Is it enough?

For many, Twitter is still a one-way conversation. Users blast out their messages in hopes of superficial gains such as likes or, better, retweets to extend their message's reach. Despite many brands promoting themselves there, they are not responding to customers who have issues with their companies (some reports say as high as 70 percent of complaints on Twitter go unanswered). For Twitter to hold on, it will need to continue to educate its users - particularly those managing verified pages - as to what consumers expect from them on the network. Facebook is becoming an all-encompassing marketing hub for business users, and Twitter will need to keep up in that regard while somehow fending itself from the real-time advancements Facebook is making. Twitter will also need to continue its efforts to get its largely inactive user base to the network to engage with other users and the content found there, which it has made strong attempts to do with its set of recurring emails (like "popular in your network"). 

The bright spot for Twitter is that many teens look to it and Facebook's own Instagram as an escape from Facebook, a social network dominated by their parents.

What do you think is Twitter's saving grace? Fire off in the comments below.