Twitter's new hope: 'resurrected users'

If you are a dormant Twitter user, be warned: Twitter wants to resurrect you.

It may sound like something out of a B-grade zombie movie, but so-called resurrected users are a central element of Twitter’s comeback plan.

Twitter executives made multiple references to “resurrected” users during the company’s Q4 earnings call. CFO Anthony Noto called them a “great opportunity.”

So what is a resurrected user?

Twitter spokesman Jim Prosser defined resurrected users as “people who were dormant but became active again.”

It’s not hard to see why these sleepers are so valuable.

Twitter’s user growth hit a wall, and even shrank in the US, during the final three months of the year. To rekindle its growth, Twitter needs to both introduce new users to its service and bring back those who have tried Twitter but for whatever reason didn’t stick around.

Broken windows

Bringing back lapsed users is something all apps do. You’ve probably gotten the nagging emails from apps you downloaded but long ago stopped using, urging you to come back.

But churn has been a particularly acute problem at Twitter for years, with many people complaining that the service is too complicated to use.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey vowed that he was ready to tackle the problems during the company’s Q4 earnings call.

“We are focusing a lot of our energy on refining the core product and looking at what is confusing about the service, what is inhibiting growth,” he said.

“We have some really weird rules around conversations, specifically around replies and this dot @name format, that nobody understands that and we need to fix those things,” he said.

As Twitter fixes those problems, which it characterised as “broken windows” on the social network, expect a full-fledged resurrection offensive to round up the dormant and bring them back to life.

It’s a big project, but if Twitter succeeds, it might also revive its moribund stock.

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