Twitter. It’s something I’ve been avoiding for the past months. I’ve even had moments of wanting it to fail a little because the idea just kinda bugged. Who the fuck cares about status updates?
But recently, I realized it’s not about status updates. It’s not, as the Facebook prompt suggests, about what I’m “doing right now.” And it’s not, as the LinkedIn prompt suggests, about what I’m “working on right now.”
Twitter is a whole new kind of human communication—a one-to-many conversation—that enables a whole new kind of community. Here’s a nice summary (from Deep Jive Interests):
It’s because I can listen and participate, in real time, with a giant chat room full off interesting people, who at any given time, are thinking out loud, reporting on things they find important, but doing so in a fairly terse and concise way; and, who are almost always reachable and generally approachable about answering any particular question you might have.
This is a big fucking deal. I know because I’ve recently been lamenting the fact that my areas of interest are unusual and my fellow weirdos often live in other cities. Sure, we all have blogs and delicious accounts, and lots of us are on Facebook or Linkedin. We all use email, text, and chat. Nonetheless, we do not have community and we don’t really have a running conversation. Twitter looks like it’s gonna change that.
Now I want to show you another interesting tidbit, the Five Stages of Twitter Acceptance (from the Influential Marketing Blog):
“I think Twitter sounds stupid. Why would anyone care what people are doing right now?”
“I don’t get it, but I guess I should at least create an account.”
“I use Twitter to send people links to my blog posts and to send people my press releases.”
“I don’t always post useful stuff, but I am using Twitter to have authentic 1×1 conversations.”
“I use Twitter to post useful stuff that people read, and I’m having authentic 1×1 conversations.”
Lastly, some recently released stats, and a business-case anecdote (via LitmanLive):
* 70% of users joined in 2008.
* 20% have joined in the last 60 days.
* An estimated 5-10,000 new accounts are opening every day.
* The average user has been on Twitter for 275 days.
* 80% of users have a bio on their profile. (I personally donâ€™t follow users without a bio)
* 62% have a photo on their profile.
* Traffic has grown 600% over the last 12 months.
* Total user numbers are between 4-5m with approx 30% unengaged.
(Sources Hubspot and Compete)
Itâ€™s not there yet, but itâ€™s getting towards reaching the tipping point. It has potential for business also, success stories are starting to emerge from well known brands who are establishing a presence and engaging with their audience. Perhaps most famously, Dell recently reported that they have made more than $1 million dollars through their DellOutlet Twitter account. Itâ€™s clear that thereâ€™s value to be had from many angles.
My point: I think Twitter is here in a big way. I think it’s not a matter of adoption, but acceptance. I think it’s a matter of a learning curve (the one-to-many conversation is new to everyone, and we’ll get better), and I think it’s a matter of the hockey-stick curve we see when the network effect kicks in, which is gonna happen real soon.
With that, I’ll sign off and invite you to connect with me on Twitter.