Twitter is latest seen as categorized under the “News” section on Apple’s iTunes App Store. The change in category is currently seen only on the App Store and not on Google Play. Previously, it was categorized under the “Social Networking” category and was ranked #5, behind Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and Whatsapp. The switch boosted the app’s rank to #1 under the News category, ahead of major runners such as Reddit, CNN and FoxNews.
Twitter has repeatedly made efforts in the past to mature as a service, as it is still largely viewed as a micro blogging site. This is probably just another strategic move by Twitter to boost its popularity among users. Twitter has had a tough quarter, with an increase of only 5 million user accounts from the fourth quarter of 2015. The various measures taken by Twitter, such as introduction of user timelines and the launch of “likes” and “moments, did not pay off as well as expected. As a number one ranked app of any category, Twitter’s visibility is increased in the App Store – the top ranked apps usually appear in the top “Free” apps category. This puts Twitter exposed to a larger number of users, who are looking for an app primarily for news on their mobile devices. Users are also more likely to download the best-ranked app of a particular category than any other app of the same category. Coming to think of it, Twitter pulls off better as a news-based app than a social media app. The word limit of the tweets cum the presentation format gives it the look and feel of a news-based forum.
Competing on a category more relatable and relevant to its services is much easier than functioning as a forum for news-broadcast while trying to compete with social media giants like Facebook and Messenger. Only time will tell if this move will bring results and boost the number of user accounts on Twitter.
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