10 Reasons Why You Should Quit Twitter

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In July 2006, Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, Biz Stone and Noah Glass launched Twitter. The 140 characters micro-blogging site quickly exploded into one of the most popular sites in the world. By 2013, the social media site gained over 550 million users with 58 million Tweets per day. The so-called “SMS of the Internet” has also now gone public and has become as mainstream as sites like Facebook.

Twitter has some incredible features and it’s great for dropping a quick message in 140 characters, but there doesn’t seem to be that urgency to be active and interactive with an online community like how users on Facebook are. While there are a number of reasons for this disconnect between people and Twitter, it remains one of the most visited websites. So why wouldn’t you want to be involved with all the activity on Twitter? Maybe it’s just not for you.

Here are the 10 reasons why you should consider getting rid of your Twitter account.

10. You’re Still Confused

Twitter can be very confusing, especially if you’re new to social media. If you joined Twitter and still haven’t figured out what ‘RT’ means and how to handle hashtags after months or years, it’s probably best to move on and devote your time to a social media outlet that you actually understand.

9. Direct Messages Only If People Are Following Each Other

Some conversations should be private and not posted for the world to see. Or, sometimes you just need to converse with someone directly. Unless people are following each other, that can’t happen on Twitter. Because tweets are going by so quickly, it’s very difficult to have a one-on-one conversation with someone else. This lack of direct messaging makes Twitter a little less appealing for people who prefer that personal contact.

8. You Signed Up To Follow a Temporary Situation

Maybe you wanted to follow President Obama during the 2012 Presidential Campaign or see what an athlete was Tweeting prior to the Super Bowl, World Series, or Olympics. Then, this particular event was over. Do you still care about what members of the Boston Red Sox have to Tweet during the off-season? Probably not. If that’s the case, you joined Twitter to follow a temporary situation and have subsequently lost interest because that event is over.

7. You’re Just a ‘Twitter Sitter’

If the only reason that you have a Twitter account is to sell something, people will get tired of your gimmicks. No one likes hearing a sales pitch on Twitter when there’s so much going on with Lady Gaga. If you’re not willing to show followers the person who’s behind the business, they won’t be able to connect with you and will lose interest in what you’re tweeting.

6. You Have Twitter Account, But Not a Functioning Website

If you’re spending a lot of time building your brand on social media, including sending out numerous Tweets a day, but you don’t have a functional website, then something’s wrong. What’s the purpose of building your brand on a platform like Twitter if you’re not directing visitors to the main reason why you have a Twitter account? Your website should be up and running before making your presence known on Twitter.

5. It Isn’t Helping Business If Strictly Local

Unless you have a business that is reaching consumers nationally, even internationally, there might not be a need for a Twitter account. Local businesses, like restaurants, bakeries, plumbers, etc. may not have a use for Twitter, since the platform is better suited to reach people all over the world. Instead, your focus should be on a site that can help your local business expand, such as Facebook. While having a Twitter account can be beneficial for your online reputation, it’s not the most ideal social media site for a local business since you may not be reaching your target audience.

4. Not Reaching Enough People

Despite Twitter claiming that it has 232 million “active” users, meaning people who access the service at least once a month, polls have revealed that about “36 percent of 1,067 people who have joined Twitter say they do not use it, and 7 percent say they have shut their account.” Also, according to a 2009 Nielsen Co. report, only one in three have remained active on Twitter after joining. While a lot of people have signed up, it’s not as active as sites like Facebook. Which means, you’re not reaching as many people as you think.

3. Sending Out Heated Tweets

Have you noticed during within the last year a lot of celebrities have shut down their Twitter accounts? Celebs like Alec Baldwin have sent out some pretty heated Tweets that have caused backlash. But, you don’t have to be famous to start a “Twitterstorm.” You could drunkenly Tweet something offensive or berate fans of your least favorite sports team. Regardless of whatever ignites the debate, Twitter can be a hotbed for heated conversations.

If you happen to be someone without a filter, likes to cause trouble, or has a short fuse, Twitter can be bad news for you. For example, remember that girl who freaked out at a Florida Dunkin Donuts because she didn’t get a receipt? She’s pretty much been banned from Twitter, thanks to the deserving backlash she received.

2. Obsessive

Twitter is extremely time-consuming. But, there’s a difference between being active and being obsessive. If you are responding to every retweet, Tweeting your entire life at 140 taps a time or reading all the Tweets from the people you follow, you aren’t living much of a life, are you? Instead of directing your time and energy elsewhere, like having a working website, you’re entangled in the depths of the Twittersphere.

1. Not Active Enough

On the other side of being too-active on Twitter, you might not be active enough. If you pay attention to the best Tweeters, they have a rhythm. They’re dedicated to the game and are on the site every day. If you Tweet occasionally – maybe because you don’t have the time – it’s easy for people to forget all about you. And, wasn’t that the point of joining a social media site? To make your presence known? If you can’t play the Twitter game, find a social media site that better fits your needs.

Have you quit Twitter? If so, why made you leave the site? Or, do you think the potential of Twitter is enough outweighs the negatives?


Image  Credit: Johan Larsson/Flickr

Albert Costill
Albert Costill is a co-founder of evolvor.com and a freelance writer who has written for brands like ForRent.com and Search Engine Journal. When he’s not writing and brainstorming content ideas, this New Jersey native spends his time traveling, blasting music, and keeping his chocolate lab at bay.
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  • http://.forge.co.nz Perry Bernard

    Hi Albert, thanks for the great post. I have been wondering if I should also be on Twitter and weighing up the pros and cons of using yet another social media platform. Lately, as a SEO and proponent of social media for marketing exposure, I have found myself feeling rather hypocritical about not having a Twitter presence myself. The factors I had been considering align nicely with what you’ve written above, so I am feeling like I’m not entirely stupid for not using it (yet or ever).
    Thanks again.

  • Scott McKirahan

    I’d agree with pretty much everything except #6. I, in fact, encourage people to start getting active in forums and social networking while they are building their websites. This helps them establish relationships without an apparent ulterior motive – relationships that they can leverage AFTER their website is built. Once the website is built, it’s all too tempting to start thinking “me” instead of “we.” If you get in the habit of contributing to the community first, it will be better engrained as a habit when you are finally able to occasionally promote something.

    • http://www.rishona.net Shona

      Agreed. I maintain 2 Twitter accounts that do not have “real” websites. Rather, they have curation sites (on RebelMouse). I use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest to curate information surrounding their respective topics. You can go to the “website” if you want — it will show you all of the social media activity in one place. But it is hardly necessary.

      My boyfriend also has a Twitter account that centers around one main topic; marijuana legalization laws and updates. The accounts just tweets and retweets information regarding this topic. There is no website associated with it. He has more followers than me!

    • http://www.seoservices.net.nz Perry Bernard

      Hey Scott, I kinda think you should avoid promoting product, but focus more on the brand when engaging people on social media. Posting stuff that’s interesting to your following, and encouraging them to come to your site or sign up for EDMs.

      • Scott McKirahan

        Whether you have an info-product, a blog whose main goal is to really get newsletter signups or an eCommerce website, we all ultimately promote a “product.” Your website IS your product no matter how you look at it, so of course you are going to be promoting it.

        I advocate promoting other people’s “product” more often than not and slipping in your own “product” when you have an audience that knows you and trusts you.

        As far as my own eCommerce websites are concerned, I promote other people’s posts 60% of the time, articles on my website’s blog 35% of the time and something on the actual eCommerce website around 5% of the time (a discount coupon or hot sale, for instance).

  • http://www.shopletpromos.com Tamar @Shoplet Promos

    There are always pros and cons to everything. Not only Twitter but other social media platforms are not perfect either. I agree I don’t like DM feature limitations, temporary following list is not good either. But there are still lots of people who love Twitter and tweet every day, and successful companies have lots of followers on Twitter.
    I remember Con Edison was really successful on Twitter during the blackout.

  • James Halloran

    Very good thoughts! To not be active on Twitter is just as bad as being over-active (and also bad for your reputation). It’s definitely a reputation vulnerability if you don’t know how to properly engage with your audience or customers on Twitter.

    In fact, a good majority of them will resort to communicating customer service issues with you if you’re on Twitter. And if you’re not actively monitoring it, obviously that could be extremely harmful to your company’s reputation if you’re not replying to their concerns.

    Thanks for sharing this! Definitely an informative piece.

  • Adam

    Almost all of those points can be applied to FB as well… Also note that this article has been tweeted more than it has been Liked. Sharing content (tweeting) is a more invested engagement than Liking content.

    10. Still confused? Not really. FB has far more rabbit holes of menus, buttons, options and algorithms that change more frequently than anything on Twitter. So that point seems invalid.

    9.Agreed. Twitter ABSOLUTELY needs to change that. You should be able to DM anyone like with FB(pending the users settings allow it).

    8. 8. You Signed Up To Follow a Temporary Situation – Same following aspect would apply to FB fan pages…

    7. You’re Just a ‘Twitter Sitter’… Same thing would apply to being a ‘FB Sitter’ not sure what the point here is?

    6. You Have Twitter Account, But Not a Functioning Website… Once again same thing would apply to FB not sure how this is Twitter specific

    5. You fail to explain why FB works locally, just state that Twitter does not. Though with Twitter’s open api there are more options tap into local communities than what FB offers. Do Twitter’s location based ads not count? Or using locations in search? A simple google search of “local tweets” and “local facebook posts” should show who has more location based functionality.

    4. All these “active user base” stats are weak. You can 20 different reports at any given time about user base of social channels. Yes FB has a bigger audience, but its users are less accessible by anyone. Also Twitter didn’t go out and offer up $3B just to acquire an entire demographic out of fear that they’re losing that portion of their audience.

    3. I’ll give you this one. If you’re a moron you will be exposed on Twitter. So to all morons out there, use FB instead because it wont expose you for being the moron you are… good argument.

    2. Yes, because when people talk about obsessive behavior related to a social media channel it’s never FB, it’s always Twitter… ummmm no.

    1. You’re admittedly going after both ends on this one. This seems to be an issue of engaging with people who follow a million people. Same aspect applies to FB. You will not be heard by people who are follower gluttons.

    • http://www.moxiedot.com Kelsey Jones

      This is a great comment, thank you for sharing your thoughts and how they can apply to Facebook, Adam.

  • http://www.minterest.org Mahesh Mohan

    I tried to quit Twitter several times.. but since it’s the easiest way to reach a brand/person it won’t allow me to…

    • http://rkwebsol.com Pramod Ram

      Mahesh, i truly agree with you, how can anyone stop tweeting. It can reach anyone just using the #hashtags & @profile name. We can ask questions & get answers without following anyone. Its reach is global.

  • http://www.businesstransworld.com/ Hina

    Good thoughts all around on this subject. Thanks for sharing.While we generally are drop dead enthusiastic about Twitter, and to be fair, we all live and breathe the service around here, are there Ten good reasons for leaving Twitter?

  • Manoj Soni

    This post has been twitted more times than shared on any other media… I think that is alone a reason one might not be able to quit it easily.

  • Charlie

    Erratum: “one of the most sites in the world”

    • http://www.alphabrandmedia.com Jenise Uehara Henrikson

      Thanks for flagging that, fixed!

  • http://www.kingged.com Sunday

    Well, for all the reasons highlighted in this post, it is obvious that those who are not interested in Twitter account are not seeing the benefits at the moment. If Twitter is not providing value in anyway to the user or marketer, why keep it?

  • http://expresswriters.com Express Writers

    These are really great points, however for our business, we think about people, search engines and social signals. For us this means re-tweets and shares.

    With that being said, Twitter is one of the largest social media signals that the search engines (especially Google) looks at. Like in point #6, if you don’t have a website to share content from, why bother!

  • ToscaSac

    I love Twitter. I have met dozens of people from there and follow a lot of local businesses.

    People come and fail to figure out how to use the medium all the time. If that is the case it might be a waste of time . No one should waste time but then the information on how to use each plat form is available to those who seek it out.

  • http://www.valentinedayblog.com/ kartik

    Hey Scott, I kinda think you should avoid promoting product, but focus more on the brand when engaging people on social media. Posting stuff that’s interesting to your following, and encouraging them to come to your site or sign up for EDMs.