With the year that we’ve just had it’s hard to imagine how it would have unfolded had we not had Twitter at our fingertips.
Yet despite its seemingly indispensable role in our lives Twitter is still struggling to turn any of that obsession into cold hard cash.
The company just announced a loss of around £133m in the last three months of 2016, a considerable increase over its £72m loss during the same period in 2015.
As the Guardian points out, this is the latest blow for a company that has now accumulated losses of reportedly around $2.8bn since it first floated on the stock market three years ago.
So what’s the problem? Well it’s certainly not the amount of people on Twitter with the company reporting an impressive 319m monthly active users.
That’s a small but still meaningful increase of four per cent year-over-year.
The problem then is making sure these 319m users are actually engaging with advertising in a way that then makes Twitter lots of money.
You see President Trump might have turned Twitter into his official mouthpiece but that doesn’t actually mean anything for the company that’s giving him that very platform.
According to the company’s shareholder’s letter, Twitter has seen some declines in advertising revenue in the US. These declines (5% year-over-year) were unfortunately significant enough that they simply wiped out any positive growth that came from the European market.
Features like the Promoted Tweet just aren’t performing as well as they used to and the company has said it’s already looking to dramatically streamline its focus on how to turn tweets into money.
It’s a genuinely difficult situation for Twitter to be in, like Facebook it is in many ways an open platform that brands can use however they want without ever having to resort to advertising.
While you’re not going to see Twitter disappearing from your smartphone anytime soon the realities remain that this is a company that is still trying to find out how it can turn our obsession with Trump’s Twitter feed into meaningful profit.
The Best Smartphone You Can Buy:
Apple iPhone 7
Eduardo Munoz / Reuters
This is Apple’s best iPhone ever, and if we’re honest it’s one of their most innovative devices yet. It has an incredible camera, is water-resistant and boasts a stunning bright new display. Of course it can’t escape the rumours surrounding next year’s device but if you’re looking to buy a smartphone right now, and Apple are on your radar, this is the phone for you.
The Huffington Post UK
This is Google’s iPhone. It’s that simple. As such there are achievements and compromises. If you’re after an incredibly well-built, powerful Android flagship, Google have given you a truly five-star smartphone. If you’re a photographer, the Pixel’s camera and cloud storage option make this a no brainer. It's not cheap though, with the XL costing over £800.
The Huffington Post UK
The OnePlus 3T is simply a continuation of the ethos that makes OnePlus phones so good. It’s exceptionally well-built, powerful and offers you everything you could want in an affordable and meaningful package. No smartphone will give you more value for money.
Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
Bloomberg via Getty Images
With a new curved back and larger 5.5-inch display the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge is more about evolution than revolution. The S7 edge now sports a water-resistant body, embedded camera and a MicroSD card slot. The S7 edge is also Samsung's most powerful smartphone yet, so powerful in fact that Samsung have actually had to equip a tiny water-cooling system inside the phone. The good news though is that means you'll never have to worry about getting a warm hand.
Apple iPhone SE
The Huffington Post UK
Incredibly, Apple's familiar-looking iPhone SE manages to boast the same performance as its top-of-the-range iPhone 6s making it the most powerful 4-inch smartphone available. If you're keen to return to the days of one-handed texting then Apple's bite-sized iPhone is the smartphone for you.
The LG G5 sets itself apart from rivals like the S7, Xperia XA and the iPhone 6s by being something utterly unique. The G5 is the first commercial 'modular' phone, allowing you to swap out the bottom for new accessories. So far there's an audio one made in partnership with Bang & Olufsen and a camera-focused attachment which gives you extra camera controls.
JACK TAYLOR via Getty Images
The Huawei P9 is a smartphone designed for capturing life. Thanks to a partnership with photography legends Leica this dual-lens camera can take pictures that'll put your dedicated camera to shame. Of course it helps that the P9 is also a pretty great Android smartphone as well.
Google Nexus 5X
The Nexus 5X strikes the ultimate balance between power and affordability. Taking over the responsibility from the frankly excellent Nexus 5, Google's new smartphone boast an ultra-light body but still crams in a fingerprint sensor, the latest version of Android marshmallow and a Full-HD display.