Social Hunt was an application developed to enable Twitter users to keep a close watch on five accounts of particular importance. As their sorry final tweet tells us, their service ceased running after the 19th of May 2016. We’ve decided to keep their legacy alive and look at why the tool could have succeeded, but, ultimately, why it didn’t.
So what did Social Hunt app do?
The app enabled users to gain email updates of the Twitter activity of five chosen accounts without those accounts knowing. A little bit like a Twitter list on steroids. The old site even suggested equivalent tools for Facebook and Instagram were on the way.
Here’s what the app had to offer customers according to its old homepage:
The now dormant social media accounts of the business suggest it was a Turkish tech startup. Turkey, incidentally, is one of the countries in which enjoys relatively good user and activity levels. For the development team, this perhaps created an elevated sense of the importance of the app on a global scale.
So why did it fail?
The app sent its first tweet in January 2015 and it seemed like the app gained some good initial traction with coverage in a range of tech-business news outlets. It appears as though the initial buzz did little for the business, itself and the account gained only several dozen followers.
There are two key reasons as to why Social Hunt may not have captured the imagination. The first is that Twitter lists already give users the power to keep an eye on certain accounts. These lists can be public and private and can contain as many accounts as you wish.
The second is the number of emails one would receive from Social Hunt. Think about all the heavyweight and influential Twitter account you follow. How often to they tweet? Even if each of your five accounts tweeted just three times a day, you’d have 15 emails landing in your inbox around the clock, every day.
The power of Twitter lists
Twitter lists can be incredibly well leveraged by businesses to segment their market, keep an eye on competitors and collaborators, and even as a form of CRM or sales management system. Whilst you won’t be emailed about their activity, list members can be easily viewed whilst on the platform.
Social Hunt is one of the thousands of apps with good intentions that have played a small part in Twitter’s so far short but eventful history. There’s no way of telling what’s on the horizon with social media and Twitter’s relative stagnation may have also contributed to the lack of growth for the app. Whatever is written in the stars for Twitter over the coming years, it’s down to today’s developers and entrepreneurs to have the vision and foresight to create tools of value.