Desperate Twitter Inc (TWTR) Makes a Big Bet on Live Sports

Twitter Inc, (TWTR)

Twitter Inc didn’t have much to celebrate on Jack Dorsey’s one year anniversary as CEO of the firm. A year ago, Jack Dorsey officially took over the CEO role at Twitter. The previous CEO, Dick Costolo exited when he couldn’t seem to find a way to fix the firm. Dorsey is trying hard get Twitter back on track but it appears that Twitter has serious problems and one year is not enough to get it back in shape.

Twitter Inc (NASDAQ:TWTR)

Dorsey has introduced new features such as “Moments” to make the product more useful for users. He has simplified tweets and you can now read tweets without having an account on the platform. Dorsey has also tried to keep advertisers from leaving by creating new products and forging alliances. However, Twitter’s ship has refused to be righted and the firm has lost 49.5% market value in the last one year. More so, its share price has crashed by 51.5% within the same period.

Twitter TWTR One Year Chart

Live sports to save Twitter from dying

Interestingly, Twitter might find help and salvation in unexpected places – streaming live sports. Tech Crunch reports that the firm has started streaming its live coverage of select tennis matches at Wimbledon. Twitter seems to have struck a deal with ESPN and the organizers of the Wimbledon championships to broadcast a live coverage of the matches on its platform.

You can watch the live action here and join the conversation with #wimbledon hashtag.  The live feed features a screen for the video and you can see related comments and tweets under the video fee. You can expand the screen on a laptop for a fuller experience with the tweets appearing on a second column beside the video screen.

The firm is still experimenting with the live coverage feature and there hasn’t been much of an official move to promote its use. Viewers can only watch the games passively and tweet – they can’t control the video or scroll back to review a scene. The firm noted that “this live-stream is an extremely early and incomplete test experience, and we’ll be making lots of improvements before we launch it in its final form.”

Can Twitter exploit sports to trigger growth?

Twitter can increase user engagement and attract new users to its platform by exploiting the popularity of sports. The firm has a large number of high-profile sports men and women, media houses, and brands that endorses sports on its platform. The aforementioned influencers also have a huge support base on the platform.  Showing live video of sports could be a great way to attract users to its platform because sport tends to appeal to a large number of people across different demographics.

Ben Wood, an expert at CCS Insight notes that notes that “major sporting events already drive a huge amount of traffic on Twitter, and being able to mash that up with live video – which in theory should engage its audience more effectively – could be a very powerful combination”.

He also noted that Dorsey must be committed to making the necessary investments for breaking into live sports streaming market. He says, “If Twitter is willing to make the investment to secure properties that people are desperate to watch, it will absolutely drive traffic.”

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Victor Alagbe is a seasoned business and finance writer with a specialty in writing about how to invest for the long-term in healthcare, pharmacology, energy and tech stocks. His long-term focus is on stocks that provide a nice mix of growth and income. For the short term, he passionately writes about trading stock options for the excitement and leverage that stock options offer.


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