Word has come out that Twitter wanted to purchase Instagram before Facebook did, and as a result, people have begun stating that Twitter is “On its death bed”, because one company purchasing another that doesn’t make money means failing. That’s not true.
First of all, twitter won’t become irrelevant. High user account or not, no service offers what it does. Google plus and Facebook both have an entirely different interaction method. Twitter’s beauty is that it is limited. If you want it to do more, you’re doing it wrong, and they would be, too. For interaction with customers or fans, nothing does it like twitter. If you think that FB pages and plus pages are the new best way for businesses to interact with people in real time and FAST, you would be incorrect. Twitter affords the cleanest and most direct way to interact with people in a social network, period, and that will continue to be its saving grace.
Secondly, Twitter doesn’t “need” instagram, just like FB didn’t – and don’t suppose that Instagram wouldn’t have been a passing fad as well if it weren’t for the attention it got; it has yet to do anything outside of be twitter with photos. It is limited just the same as twitter. If twitter bought instagram, it barely would have mattered. The userbase is already using Twitter for sharing as it is; all Zuck paid for is that userbase, but he still won’t own them, just as he doesn’t own his userbase on Facebook.
If you want to put an expiration date on a social network, put it on Facebook. IPO or not, FB will piss off its userbase because of one major thing; it IS too broad. Social networking, when spread too broadly, creates disdain in users. Myspace proved that, and Facebook will do the same if it continues on the path it is on (which it will). Facebook is not Google, and it never will be. Twitter will continue, making money or not, because of it’s simplicity.
Finally, if you’re ruling out Twitter making money, you’re making a mistake. With Promoted Tweets only now starting to roll out, Twitter is finding its handhold in monetization, because it can keep its userbase without pissing them off too much – this was smart, because if twitter had been inundated with ads and games and other BS to begin with, it never would have found the userbase it has grown. People jump ship from a social network when it changes too much, because generally, they dislike change. Zuck and Google don’t have to care about this, because they have many products under their umbrella, but this also means that the user experience never has any normalcy. Twitter knows it needs to focus on keeping its core service solid, so as to not lose its users.
Don’t rule a service out because it didn’t buy some Hipster phone app. That bubble will pop.