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#FixIt! How to Save Twitter in 140 Ways

Published on .

With the exception of Russian bots, arguably no one has been more loyal to Twitter—more devoted to it, more addicted to it, more dependent on it—than media and marketing people. We'll just come out and say it: We love you, Twitter (or love-hate you, depending on the moment—or Moment). And we're sorry you've been going through a rough patch (declining U.S. user base, shaky revenue, @realDonaldTrump). We really, really want you to thrive.

And so we asked 140 media and marketing people to give you some advice on how Twitter can save itself—in 140 characters or less.

Embrace your Twitteryness
Reject the trolls
Reward Engagement
#TwitterOptimist
—@thinktradigital
Liz Taylor, CCO, FCB Chicago

More #adorables, fewer #deplorables.
—@anamariecox
Ana Marie Cox, host of Crooked Media's "With Friends Like These" and contributor, The New York Times Magazine

It's too easy to experience Twitter in other media. No #fomo for not being on it. Make content that makes Twitter a destination. #exclusive
—@sfheat
John Elder, CEO of San Francisco-based agency Heat

Focus on the now. Tell me what's happening right now. Trending is not enough.
—@mattinnewyork
Matt Eastwoood, worldwide chief creative officer, J. Walter Thompson

Three unfunny tweets and you're kicked off. One intolerant tweet and you're killed.
—@McCann_WW
Susan Young, executive creative director, McCann New York

If I were Twitter, I would go to @adambain's house, back up a dump truck full of cash to bring him back to oversee revenue AND product.
—@MikeDuda
Michael Duda, managing partner, Bullish

That's easy: Lifetime, non-reversible ban for @realDonaldTrump.
—@sethmnookin
Seth Mnookin, director of MIT's graduate program in science writing, and contributing editor, Vanity Fair

Since Twitter is a great forum for news as it happens it should create a "BS index" for any verified user. #unfakethenews #bullshittometer
—@davidlbaldwin
David Baldwin, founder of Baldwin&, "a hybrid branding digital advertising mobile social media brewery thingy in Raleigh, NC" (per its Twitter bio)

MUST create Critter, a feed of cute and friendly woodland creatures we can turn to when Twitter hatred brings us down.
—@jasonsperling
Jason Sperling, executive creative director, RPA

Help @jack let go. It's one thing to run two co's if they are healthy, but $TWTR needs a dedicated CEO to keep team inspired + focused.
—@gtmcknight
Taylor McKnight, founder of event scheduling platform Sched

Enact a rule that for every mean, troll-like tweet someone sends, they have to send five nice ones.
—@kelseyjoynelson
Kelsey Nelson, director of social influence at Greenville, SC marketing agency FerebeeLane

You teach the world to write.
—@winstonbinch
Winston Binch, chief digital officer, Deutsch North America

Monetize the stream with ad-supported personalized engaging content/products to watch, read, browse and buy.
—@yankeejoe
Joe Hyrkin, CEO of digital publishing platform Issuu

Stop yourself from becoming a propaganda machine, we've got enough of those.
—@RobWeatherhead
Rob Weatherhead, founder of Bidex, the London-based conference about biddable media

Buck the trend. Embrace the "filter bubble" by recommending more targeted, personalized content—and less of everything else.
—@JesKirkwood
Jes Kirkwood, content and community marketing manager at San Francisco visual marketing software company Autopilot

Twitter needs to find a mass audience: building features and marketing itself to become as sticky with the rest of the world as it is with media obsessives like myself.
—@thejongardner
Jonathan Gardner, director of marketing at image performance platform ShareIQ

Impose a get-your-head-out-your-ass rule: 10-follow limit on people in your own industry. Five for media people.
—@kenwheaton
Ken Wheaton, novelist and former editor of Ad Age

Truth is now more important than ever. Twitter is full of bullshit. Verify. Verify. Verify.
—@mattinnewyork
Matt Eastwoood, worldwide chief creative officer, J. Walter Thompson

Find a business model that accepts the reality that everyone who wants to use Twitter uses Twitter. (Good luck!)
—@pkafka
Peter Kafka, senior editor, media, Recode

Stop trying to be Facebook. Accept you can be a strong utility without being a world-beater. That's Twitter's path towards a legit future.
—@jeremarketer
Jeremy Goldman, CEO of brand engagement consultancy Firebrand Group

Find a business model that accepts the reality that everyone who wants to use Twitter uses Twitter. (Good luck!)
—@pkafka
Peter Kafka, senior editor, media, Recode

Twitter needs to nail the problem of meaningful connections. #StopTheFireHose
—@bamonaghan
Beth Monaghan, CEO and co-founder of Boston-based InkHouse Media & Marketing

Use the Open Brand Safety effort to define hate and fake news sites, then extend the mute option to block such sites if the user so chooses.
—@craignewmark
Craig Newmark, founder, Craigslist

Actively work to stop #fakenews covefefe.
—@acasale
Andrew Casale, president and CEO of adtech firm Index Exchange

It's complicated. Like a migraine, but less fun. Identify the problem Twitter can solve better than anyone else, then go build that future.
—@ShannonEis
Shannon Eis, VP of corporate communications at Yelp

Reduce the vitriol by helping to create friendlier connections resulting in more positivity + real news + curbing trolls.
—@CraigElimeliah
Craig Elimeliah, managing director of creative technology at agency VML

Twitter users are super-savvy about being targeted. As brands, we have to be completely transparent and figure out how to bring value if we want to be relevant.
—@iamdavidroman
David Roman, senior VP and CMO at Lenovo

Twitter users thrive on 1-to-1 connection, like Twitter Chats, access to tweet anyone & tweet videos. Discover even more ways to do this.
—@thedarcypeters
Darcy Peters, customer advocacy lead at social media management app company Buffer

Take. His. Phone. #MAGA
—@DocMastracchio
Karla Mastracchio, Tampa-based media analyst

@twitter should modify @WesternUnion's #telegram model & charge per character after 5 free tweets a month. Also, use telegrams' retro design.
—@Matthaber
Matt Haber, Bay Area journalist and recovery media reporter

Tweets, but editable
—@reckless
Nilay Patel, editor-in-chief, The Verge

5-min grace period to rethink 'witty' post that's actually a racist, sexist, homophobic, slanderous or incendiary post, before it posts.
—@jasonsperling__
Jason Sperling, executive creative director at agency RPA

Twitter users need less broadcast and more connection. Make the platform a better circuit board vs. a better billboard.
—@JenQSaenz
Jennifer Saenz, CMO, Frito-Lay

Twitter should help publishers guarantee reach to its followers without gatekeeping them. Also if it created affinity groups, we'd be able to leverage it in so many ways.
—@HIGH_TIMES_Mag
Adam Levine, CEO, High Times

@Twitter said 2016 a #transformationyear but every hour, day, year has to relentlessly transform and be user focused = good4advertisers
—@lindsaypattison
Lindsay Pattison, chief transformation officer, GroupM and CEO, Maxus Worldwide

Keep pursuing sponsorship opportunities that actually provide value. Promoted Tweets are too easy to scroll past. Find bigger fish to fry.
—@eleanordowling
Eleanor Dowling Semeraro, media consultant and former Twitterite

There are only two - tiny - factors holding @Twitter back: Scale & a real value proposition for advertisers. Like I said, tiny, right? (1/3)

All seriousness, @Twitter should take a page out of the @Foursquare playbook - engagement+content+data - or, maybe, merge the two. (2/3)

P.S. All of this comes from a HUGE @twitter, @jack fanboy. (3/3)

—@rmguest00
Rich Guest, CEO, Tribal Worldwide North America

I wish #BlackTwitter would buy shares of $TWTR and proxy vote. Twitter needs public governance. @Jack is failing us.
—@jmgrygiel
Jennifer Grygiel, Assistant Professor of Communications, Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications

Knock it off with the algorithmic stuff and growth-hacking. You'll never be Facebook but at least you can be good.
—@jeffbercovici
Jeff Bercovici, San Francisco bureau chief, Inc. magazine

Demonstrate that no one is above the Terms of Service and suspend POTUS.
—@espiers
Elizabeth Spiers, founder of media lab The Insurrection and founding editor, Gawker

Bring back Vine. Find a way to monetize the platform and let me enjoy stupid, six-second videos again.
—@willyfrederick
Will Jarvis, University of Missouri journalism student ('18) and recovering Ad Age intern

Exclude everyone but Trump from engaging with Twitter. If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?
—@aaronhicklin
Aaron Hicklin, founder and editorial director at Grand Editorial and editor-in-chief, Out magazine

Move the pictures and video above the text. Oh wait, now you're @Instagram!
—@jasonsperling__
Jason Sperling, executive creative director at RPA

Everyone must be verified.
—@GeorgeSlefo
George Slefo, tech reporter, Ad Age

Take better advantage of real-time insights.
—@tcammett
Tarah Cammett, VP of marketing at database software company VoltDB

The massive amount of real-time conversations could unlock massive targeting opportunities for programmatic video advertising.
—@fsinton
Frank Sinton, founder and CEO of mobile video platform Beachfront Media

Embrace the fact that all we need from it is comedy and memes. #justsaying
—@HayetRida
Hayet Rida, senior strategic planner, FCB Chicago

Turn off the relentless, cheerily personal, overflowing spam sausage machine that is Direct Messages.
—@keithblanchard
Keith Blanchard, CEO of content agency Teamstream Productions and former chief creative officer at Story Worldwide and Thrillist

It can't survive on ads alone. It needs subscription products.
—@MichaelWolffNYC
Michael Wolff, contributing editor, The Hollywood Reporter and founder, Newser

Offer a paid subscription option that's spam- and Trump-free.
—@McCann_WW
Daniela Vojta, executive creative director, McCann New York

Eschew Facebook mimicry. Curb hate and bots. Double down on your original mission to be the world's great egalitarian water cooler.
—@gavinohara
Gavin O'Hara, global social media publisher, Lenovo

What Twitter can do is allow me to write more than 140 characters so I can really tell them what they should do.
—@thesalesexpert
Tom LaVecchia, founder of X Factor Digital Marketing

UPDATE: Twitter is granting Tom's wish. See "140 Characters, the Defining Quirk of Twitter, Becomes a Relic of the Past."

Partner with Bloomberg to reinvent TV and launch a 24/7 live breaking news network. Coming later this year!
—@msh200
M. Scott Havens, global head of digital, Bloomberg Media

Change from social platform to destination for breaking news. Most news hits Twitter before other media, often from the horse's mouth!
—@MrBuchuk
Daniel Buchuk, director of communications at customer-logistics startup Bringg and former social media manager at the BBC

A prompt that warns you that 20 other people already made the same joke before you tweet.
—@bendwilliams
Ben Williams, editor, digital at New York Media (nymag.com)

Stop trying to source content and complement existing content by investing dollars & development into live co-watching experiences.
—@kimberlyanner
Kimberly Reyes Price, senior social content strategist, Merkley + Partners

End the harassment. Verify. Verify. Verify.
—@mattinnewyork
Matt Eastwoood, worldwide chief creative officer, J. Walter Thompson

The purpose of Twitter is to follow premium content. It should continue to invest in premium and work on developing better ad products that leverage its attributes.
—@VelvetEllis
Steve Ellis, CEO of influencer marketing platform WhoSay

Twitter needs easy-to-use features for filtering the firehose so users can find new people and conversations relevant to their interests. (1/2)

The opportunity for discovery is Twitter's biggest advantage. While hard for newbies to figure out, it's what keeps savvy users coming back. (2/2)

—@CarriBugbee
Carri Bugbee, marketing and social media consultant who rose to Twitter fame for tweeting as @PeggyOlson

Twitter needs to become a primary destination for users rather than a secondary market.
—@mconnollyd
Michael Connolly, CEO of adtech firm Sonobi

Banish the trolls and the hate. Hero the good and the great. Remember what you're good at = trending now. Everything else is already taken.
—@BenShaw
Ben Shaw, head of BBH Live (BBH's social arm)

Let a Twitter feed include content beyond accounts we follow to break through our self-curated echo chambers that insulate us from the world & opinions we don't like.
—@ejciminelli
Eddie Ciminelli, VP of content marketing at Chicago-based marketing firm Intersport

Twitter needs a bullshit meter to sift out the true from the nearly true and the barely true.
—@CoffeeAlways
Sheri D. Roder, executive VP and chief of the WHY Group, Horizon Media

Rename yourself Twittify. Be like Spotify - make the content personal.
—@scotinco
Andy Main, CEO, Deloitte Digital

Twitter is not a social network. It's a news outlet. They should stop trying to get new users and focus on extracting more money from media clients. (1/2)

They can easily charge The New York Times tens of thousands of dollars a month to push their articles out. Ditto celebrities (2/2)

—@awolk
Alan Wolk, TV analyst and contributing editor, TV[R]EV

In my eyes you're pretty okay. Keep doing what's working & pursuing media partnerships. Might b optics. Hire us?
—@daverolfe
Dave Rolfe, executive VP, director of integrated production, BBDO New York

Each time someone says something mean, reduce the number of characters they can tweet by one. 140, 139, 138... Trump'd be at zero by now.
—@nickbilton
Nick Bilton, contributing editor, Vanity Fair

It's too late—I gave up party lines when I moved off the farm.
—@Sid_Holt
Sid Holt, CEO, American Society of Magazine Editors

Implement a monthly fee for users. Fewer dead accounts, fewer trolls.
—@jeffanderson99
Jeff Anderson, group creative director, 360i

Merge with (or get acquired by) Pinterest and give Instagram a run for its money as a social-visual platform.
—@simondumenco
Simon Dumenco, media columnist, Ad Age

Participate or leave. Verify everyone. No more eggs.
—@mattinnewyork
Matt Eastwoood, worldwide chief creative officer, J. Walter Thompson

Twitter is fine, we just all need to change our expectations of it, look to Snapchat/Tumblr as the cohort, not to Facebook.
—@tomfgoodwin
Tom Goodwin, executive VP and head of innovation, Zenith USA

Redesign to manage out abuse and harassment of women/POC, welcome in and celebrate voices of women & Black Twitter, and see new users rocket.
—@cindygallop
Cindy Gallop, founder, IfWeRanTheWorld and MakeLoveNotPorn; former chair, Bartle Bogle Hegarty

Don't make Google's mistake. Keep politics out of your algorithms and don't ban people just because you disagree with them. Your only future.
—@AnthonyMacriSEO
Anthony Neal Macri, founder at Toronto web design and digital marketing firm ANM.digital

Add more live sports programming as people #cutthecord. Individual team subscriptions could generate revenue with a natural second screen.
—@charlieriley
Charlie Riley, director of marketing and communications at Buffalo, New York insurance and risk management firm Lawley

I still go to Twitter more often than to the restroom, so they should be fine.
—@pellesjoenell
Pelle Sjoenell, worldwide chief creative officer, BBH

Twitter needs to change the user growth narrative on Wall Street. Real-time openness and data is what sets it apart and contextual ad ops are waiting to be unlocked.
—@damata
Jason Damata, founder and CEO of media consultancy Fabric Media

Verify @chapinc.
—@chapinc
Chapin Clark, exec VP and managing director of copywriting at R/GA and the guy who manages R/GA's Twitter feed, @RGA

Ban all caps and impose zero trolling policy.
—@AndrewEssex
Andrew Essex, CEO, Tribeca Enterprises (The Tribeca Film Festival); former CEO, Droga5

Share revenue with top tweeters.
—@jason
Jason Calacanis, author of "Angel: How to Invest in Technology Startups—Timeless Advice from an Angel Investor Who Turned $100,000 into $100,000,000"

Find ways to integrate with other screens - browsers, tv, apps etc. so that relevant conversations can be consumed and joined seamlessly.
—@thori
Deacon Webster, chief creative officer at New York ad agency Walrus

Keep focusing on live, here-now moments! I ❤️ experiencing things like concerts, TV specials, sports with my timeline. Help me do that more!
—@ericzawo
Eric Zaworski, marketing lead at Toronto-based hashtag analytics company Keyhole and contributor to The Fader, Vice, Complex

Stand on the ground of its terms of service and delete all racist/sexist/homophobic/transphobic/hate/etc. accounts from the platform.
—@Mr_McFly
Gary J. Nix, social media and brand strategist

Get rid of the "In Case You Missed It" features. They often show tweets I have already seen. In fact, get rid of all these similar extras and just load my tweets!
—@BCNMediaNews
Brian Allen, editor of TV and streaming news site BiCoastal News

Like Spanx, Dr. Phil and Weight Watchers, Twitter could use the "Oprah effect." Sell her 10%, @Jack!
—@CampKingSF
Roger Camp, co-founder and chief creative officer of Havas-aligned creative agency Camp+King

Twitter ads are terrible. At best, they're marginally interesting. At worst, they're irrelevant. Fix the algorithm.
—@mattinnewyork
Matt Eastwoood, worldwide chief creative officer, J. Walter Thompson

Focus resources on building a time machine to go back to 2010 and accept Google's offer. #NeverGoingToFixIt #IMissMySpace
—@gileyal
Gil Eyal, CEO of influencer social analytics platform HYPR

So why didn't we ask you for your thoughts about impoving/fixing/saving Twitter? Well, we're asking you now! Send us your 140-characters-or-less idea by using this link (sdumenco@adage.com) and please include "fix Twitter" and your name in the subject line as well as your Twitter handle in the body of the email. We'll update this post with the best additional suggestions.

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