Marketing Social Media

Former Twitter CEO Speaks Out About Influence and Social Media


There has been a lot of talk recently about a person’s influence in social media and online in general, with start-ups like Klout popping up to measure such influence. However, the former Twitter CEO is in the spotlight after an interview with Buzzfeed founder Jonah Peretti and co-founder of Branch, Josh Miller, reports Mashable.

During the interview in the New York headquarters of Branch, Evan Williams was asked about Twitter’s influence and impact on social media. One question in particular asked if he thought a person’s influence on Twitter should be measured by how many active users they have following them, rather than the total amount of followers.

In the same vein as influence measurements through Klout, Williams agreed that Twitter should update their metrics. However, he explained that it should go deeper than just active users–he also suggested a tweet’s lifespan to be taken into account. For example, how many times the tweet was viewed or how many times it was retweeted.

The former Twitter CEO was quoted with, “I would endorse that. I think that’s a great idea,” Mashable reports Twitter doesn’t yet have the ability to measure such analytics, which Williams added on that people are relying even more on Twitter’s own analytics, rather than outside sources, which is helping Twitter expand their technology.

This comes as interesting news as the progression toward social media influence begins to grow. Yes, Klout and other services offer a comprehensive guide online, but it is starting to affect the outside world as well. Some job seekers are citing that employers are asking for their Klout scores, reports Forbes, while others are asking for a certain amount of followers on Twitter. Social media influence, and the power of a brand, is becoming increasingly important–especially when a former CEO of a major social network agrees.

Current analytics are powerful, but place the wrong emphasis on what makes a person influential in their social circles. Perhaps with Williams backing up the idea of changing how influence is measured, then everyone can start seeing some real results not changed by fake followers. (Twitter recently discovered about 33% of Twitter followers are fake accounts.)

Williams is still on the microblogging network’s board and is currently focusing on his newest venture, Medium. This new start-up is also a content-driven platform that allows anyone the ability to blog or share content. As with Twitter, Medium will be seeing analytics and metric changes that are new to both Williams and the rest of the Medium staff.

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