Twitter may be experiencing a slump in its share price, but the company is busy developing features that it hopes will attract new users and keep present users firmly on board.
In what appears to be a response to Facebook’s launch of its mobile-articles feature Instant Articles, Twitter is working to develop a new feature for those using its Android and iOS apps. The Twitter feature is said to be a “Trending News” page that collects in one place most-shared news articles from Twitter’s partners. These partners include USA Today and the New York Times. Reports suggest that Twitter has been experimenting with the feature in Japan, but it seems that US users are also starting to see the feature pop up. The feature is similar to most of the news content displays already on Twitter in that by clicking on a tweet from a media partner has the effect of expanding one of that company’s display cards, featuring an excerpt and a link to the full article.
Meanwhile, Twitter has been busy rolling out a new landscape option for mobile app users accessing its services on the iPhone 6 Plus.
Shares in Twitter have fallen to their lowest level in trading since the company went public in November 2013, raising speculation about a possible takeover. The company’s valuation has fallen to around the $19 billion mark, making it a target for the likes of Google, which itself is sitting on a pot of some $70 billion in cash.
Twitter would appear to be a company Google would be interested in acquiring, given that its own attempts to leverage social and compete with Facebook have largely failed. In addition, Google lacks presence in mobile and native content, two areas attracting an increasing amount of ad money. For all its shortcomings, Twitter remains the nearest competitor to Facebook for ad revenue in those two markets.
What would rule Google out as a buyer of Twitter is that, for one thing, its recent deals with the smaller company possibly give it all that it wants – access to tweets in search results and the incorporation of Twitter ads into Google’s DoubleClick ad server.
Whether Twitter is bought or not, its viability in connecting content with potential audiences remains solid.