US POLITICS

Twitter: All World Leaders Should Tweet Like Trump

Trump's commitment to broadcasting every one of his fleeting thoughts has benefited the social media platform

US POLITICS
Illustration: Diana Quach
May 02, 2017 at 3:20 PM ET

President Donald Trump’s use of Twitter may be untraditional, but if it were up to the platform’s chief operating officer, other world leaders would follow his lead.

“We’d love it if every world leader used Twitter as their primary mechanism to talk to their constituencies,” Twitter COO Anthony Noto said in a Bloomberg Television interview on Monday. “The more that happens, the better we are going to be at showing what’s going on in the world.”

Twitter’s monthly users grew by 9 million in the first quarter of 2017, a significant increase for a company struggling with revenue and growthNoto initially hesitated to say the growth was a direct result of Trump’s Twitter usage, but at the company’s earnings presentation last week, he noted that the they’d found a causal relationship between “new and resurrected users following more news and political accounts.”

Between the president’s official @POTUS account and his personal handle, @realDonaldTrump, Trump has more than 45 million followers combined. His personal account, which he uses more frequently, has gained around 8 million followers since Inauguration Day.

During the first 100 days of his presidency, Trump tweeted nearly 500 times. He’s used Twitter to promote conspiracy theories, praise world dictators, discredit the media and threaten legal action against federal courts. For Trump, Twitter is a tool to both create and discredit news. For example, his baseless claim that former President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump’s phones prompted FBI Director James Comey to formally debunk his accusation in March. But the president also uses Twitter to attack news organizations himself, tweeting the phrase “fake news” 30 times during the first 100 days of his administration. 

It’s unclear whether Noto believes that the content in Trump’s tweets, or the consequences they cause, are ideal. But when it comes to Twitter’s growth, the content of the commander-in-chief’s tweets is less important — at least to people whose salaries are paid by Twitter.

“Listen, Twitter benefits when influential people in the world use our platform to tell what’s happening,” Noto said to Bloomberg. “We encourage that. We love the discussion. We love the conversation that’s happening.”