Twitter arrived on the scene July of 2006. As of 2011 it has more than 200 million users and 1.6 billion tweets per day. It sure has grown. But can Twitter sustain its growth and weather the storm of the web and its own users?
Twitter has a number of powerful benefits including: networking, branding, research and promotion. Yet even with the golden eggs, there are many frustrations, irritations and problems.
Twitter has shown signs of Myspace #failure such as:
- Twitter and Myspace both allow people to be anonymous.
- To grab attention many profiles are becoming lewd. It’s apparent if you check any “follow back” hashtag such as #ifollowback you see every other profile picture is a scantily dressed woman.
- Both have had very fast growth. (Crash and trash?)
- Both allow people to customize their pages. (See images below)
- Quantity of followers is valued over quality of relationships. The quality of the relationship and communication (purpose of Twitter) can be lost due to the measurable number of followers.
- Many fake profiles. According to Matt Burns, “…You have Tina Fey, who has publicly acknowledged it’s not her on Twitter, yet her fake account currently has over 216,000 followers.”
As Jeremy Schoemaker wrote, “It's like someone emailed all •*¨¨*•-:¦:-•*MySpAcE UsErS AnD tOlD ThEm ThEy CaN AnNoy PeOpLe In ReAl TiMe•*¨¨*•-:¦:-•*”
Twitter has a number of other problems:
- Many programs are available to automate thousands of Twitter accounts. How many of your followers are bots?
- Twitter users are subject to large amounts of spammed “bird turd” from followers, direct messages and trending topics.
- Twitter's source of revenue is still being tapped. Recently Twitter announced promoted Tweets, advertisements which Twitter described this way: "...tweets may be visible within a user’s timeline if that user follows the advertiser."
- Even when following only 500 people there is no way to keep up with the loads of information. Tweet platforms are needed to find relevant information.
With its rapid rise, hype and previously mentioned issues, Twitter could pop the social media marketing bubble like web companies killed the 2001 dotcom era.
But Twitter isn’t going away. Even with its annoyances, Twitter should have no problem sustaining its growth (that is unless a better birdy platform comes along). Just as the telegraph was replaced by the telephone because of better service, the demise of Myspace was due to the superior platform of Facebook.
For now, tweet away and feel free to follow me.