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Twitter is here to stay, and for good reasons March 16, 2007

Posted by eyalnow in interactions, social, socialweb, twitter.
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Twitter is a web application/service that lets you tell the world what you are doing at this moment. These last few weeks have seen a meteoric rise in its adoption.

Mat Balez predicts that Twitter will be “Non-existent before the end of 2007″.

Says Mat:

“Twitter will flame-out before the end of 2007, in one of the most awe-inspiring lessons in irrational exuberance we’ve seen since the turn of the millennium. Why? …

There is no substance to the house of cards that is Twitter. No deep content, nothing to learn, no reason to keep coming back to the trough, other than the thrill/obsession of pre-adolescent voyeurism – which is simply not reason enough for busy professionals.”

As I’ve told Mat, I think otherwise:

“Although I’m not using Twitter nor “following” anyone who Twits, I can certainly understand why many people use it and cherish it and will continue to.

It’s for the same reason that people blog about what they had for breakfast, and post photos of their pets, and for the same reason that others read and interact with them about it.

People like to express themselves, and to share these expressions, be it blurbs or snapshots, with others. And people also like to get a glimpse into other people’s lives, activities and whereabouts.
The explosion in the blogosphere is not due to professionals or companies who want to interact with their customers, but rather due to your neighbour who blogs about his stamp collection, and his teenage daughter who blogs at *her space* about her boring family.

Deep value is not the only criterion to judge a service or application. Tetris and minesweeper aren’t that “deep” either, but still very popular.

Busy professionals are just a small segment of potential customers. They are certainly not a representation of the average Myspace, YouTube or Flickr user.
In the same time, there are already professionals who *are* finding ways to harness commercial benefits or twitting.

My prediction: The hype will subside, but Twitter will not close.”

.

I dare to speculate that one of the reasons that Mat is so pessimist about Twitter’s future is that he is projecting his own issues with Twitter and with the onslaught of information into his life. Says Mat in an earlier post:

“I for one, find it difficult (as my frustrated girlfriend will attest to) to maintain very grounded in “real life” when I immerse myself in the clutches of online media consumption…[Twitter is] an app I refuse to approach for I feel it crosses a line of over-invasiveness”

While I resonate with some of the other issues he’s raising in this post, I don’t agree that Twitter is invasive, because your participation is voluntary.
You need to sign-up.
You need to sign-in.
And you need to update it so that the world knows what you’re doing.

Your aggregated attention data (what you browse, search for, purchase, read and say on the net) is probably more invasive than anything you might divulge by yourself.

As for professionals who use Twitter, Tara hunt is a seasoned twitter user who isn’t just using it, but being really passionate about it.

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I’m confident that Twitter is here to stay.

What I’m really interested and intrigued by, which also arises from both Mat’s and Tara’s posts, is the larger social aspects of Twitter and others of its kind.

More on that — soon.

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Comments»

1. Nir - April 14, 2007

Well, personally I want to believe Twitter is extremely overhyped for one main reason: it freaking scares me!

I may not have a Myspace page or even use SMS that much, but I do see the point of these. I totally fail to see the point of Twitter, which frankly makes me feel old ;)

2. charlesfrith - May 4, 2007

The point of Twitter is context. Context provides an awful lot in an age when too many people have too much to say that they feel is to important. No, context is often more important. What are you doing now. I’m lying on the sofa and surfing twitter articles.

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