The 2016 US presidential election has been described as the first “social media election”. Indeed, Republican party nominee and billionaire property developer Donald Trump’s 3am tweets have made it more of a Twitter phenomenon than a generic social media one. Yet, even as more people turn to Twitter to keep up with pop culture icons the Kardashians and candidate Trump, the 10-year-old social media firm’s own fortunes continue to plummet. Last week, despite a plunging stock price, would-be suitors such as Google’s parent Alphabet, Apple, Walt Disney Co and an array of private-equity players were leaving it at the altar.

Lack of a coherent strategy to boost user growth as well as revenues has dogged Twitter since its IPO in November 2013. From its recent peak in early October, its stock has fallen 30% as the likelihood of an imminent sale has receded.

To be sure, Twitter remains the go-to platform for celebrities, attention-craving billionaires, corporate captains, politicians as well as companies and the media to offer updates to the world in 140 characters. But monetising the platform and making any money out of it remains as challenging as ever. Twitter’s problem is not that it does not have scale or that it has stopped growing. Its problem is that other social media such as Facebook and Instagram are now far bigger and growing at twice the rate of its own mediocre pace.

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