How many of you are using Twitter? I cannot explain why in the past several months, the buzz, excitement and adoption rate around Twitter has grown exponentially. And this phenomenon is not only experienced in North America but all the way on the far side of the world, here in Asia as well.
People have tried to explain what is the allure of Twitter. Kaiser Kuo on Oglivy’s Digital Watch took a stab at discussing it here. I myself am still trying to figure out what Twitter really means to me. What Kaiser says about it being human cloud computing or powerful, constant market research is true. And it really does depend on who you follow.
It is interesting how FB’s IM is not doing well, neither is MySpace’s, or Skype’s. Yet we have a lot of attention shifting over to Twitter. I think obviously the conversations that would come out of FB are mostly between people that know each other personally. MySpace’s conversations would be a little random, perhaps about music or some common interest among strangers. But still awkward. (I have two MySpace IM’s open at all time and have never gotten a message from either of them). And I think Skype’s is just not user-friendly as a true IM, with finding friends/random people not really intuitive.
I guess with Twitter the wonderful thing is that anyone within 2 or 3-degrees of separation can be reading part of your conversation and has the opportunity to jump in. And so far, I believe a main driver of Twitter’s popularity is because it is still in the early adopter stage. The conversations flying around are early adopter conversations, which makes it all the more appealing to other early adopters. These ‘tweet’ threads help you identify like-minded bloggers, techies, media-junkies in and around your sphere of influence. Its a very organic way of building new networks that actually hold applicable value. And I would say reading the other occasional tweets of these people’s daily lives also gives you a better idea of who they are and the multi-facets that make up their lives. Don’t you find that adds peripheral value to the context and color to a Twitterer’s statements? I do.
Originally I was planning this blog entry to be about asking where are all the Twitter apps and what would they likely do. Kaiser Kuo’s most recent entry beat me to the punch with links to lists of a bunch of really cool Twitter apps. You can find them here. I still think there are lots of cool Twitter apps left to come out, and I think those new apps will really define the future of Twitter and how it will be preceived and used.
So far we’ve seen apps to help bring Twitter onto the desktop/browser, help search and amalgamate important tweets for you, and help you track your network. But as Twitter grows and is ever-more populated, as your followers and who you follow grow ever larger, as the conversation moves from early adopter to mass mainstream, will Twitter still be as cool? Does the human cloud computing get too big and general? Will new apps help organize your threads? Will it be more multi-media than just text and links? Thoughts to ponder and entrepreneurs to start working on.