Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Twitter Prospects and Tweets to Come

Although the Twitter platform has not reached the magnificence of Facebook or Google or any other top software company out there, the popular micro-blogging site has exponentially increased its user count with its 140 character tweets. Unfortunately, I probably do not use Twitter to the extent that I could use it for, but there is a lot of potential in the service, and it has slowly worked its way into the social networking model that people hope to organize their online lives with. But what exactly is going on with Twitter, and where might the website go next? With recent adventures of giving companies their firehose and possible a future business plan on such offerings, Twitter may just begin to see a period of growth that will give them necessary capital to expand their user reach and become a nationwide meme.

Many people have asked me: what is the purpose of Twitter? Many find it weird, stalker-like, or just pointless to describe your life 24/7 so that everybody in the world can see. My direct response to this: you're going about it all wrong. Twitter is not meant so everybody can hear about your life all the time. It's about social networking, telling people what's important, and spreading information. At this point, they begin asking why not just use Facebook status updates. Twitter is service completely dedicated to short atomic bursts of messaging, rather than having an extensive interface with comments, applications, and other advanced content. Twitter is almost like getting to the bare basics of social messaging. Furthermore, the website is built around mobile update, meaning the service has been made simple enough to be used entirely from your phone, allowing users to join and start their following easily.

Now getting to the potential of Twitter. Recently the Twitter team has been expanding to include more and more notable people, whether it be employees from Google, Yahoo!, you name it. For some reason people are just flocking over to work at Twitter. (Hopefully somebody caught my flocking pun.) This means that great minds are getting behind the relatively small service, and good things are bound to happen. Word has spread about the implementation of search advertisements, which would become a major revenue supplier for Twitter. Furthermore, Twitter has recently given its API firehose to a couple of companies, with some people projecting that Twitter may eventually charge for tiers of access to its API and other streaming services. Money flowing in is always a good thing, and Twitter can use extra revenue to make their data systems more reliable, or work on advertising in order to spread their user base.

I think the major flaw in Twitter's battle plan right now is what i talked about in the second paragraph. Maybe it is just happening with my peers, who are all young and naive high school students, but it seems everybody not using Twitter has a misconception about what it is supposed to be used for, and even some who do use Twitter use it incorrectly, essentially spamming people with a feed on their entire life process. Twitter needs to take action and launch a type of awareness campaign to establish a better image for their service. Because if people continue to see Twitter like this, their user base might not expand to that of something like Facebook. In other words, Twitter needs to use a little marketing to get themselves up there, and with money hopefully coming in, this just might be what we will see next.

In conclusion, Twitter is an expanding service and we should expect to see great things from the Twitter team in the recent future. They did not start out that long ago, and still have ideas fresh in their minds. With experienced people in a simple service, all they need is a little boost before they are up and running along side Facebook, though it is doubtful they will obtain the necessary 400 million users to attain those statistics. Either way, look into Twitter and incorporate it into your social network, because it will help you in the long run when Twitter begins to expand and become more useful for its users.

(Note: Image is copyrighted under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license by szlea on Flickr.)

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