In case you haven’t heard, John Mayer was dumped by Jennifer Anniston because he Twitters too much and president Obama has returned to the Twittersphere. These are just a few of the many examples of how the world is becoming so infatuated with the tech juggernaut known as Twitter. Many others including well known politicians, musicians, actors, athletes, bloggers, major news sources, and television personalities are embracing Twitter to effectively connect with their fans. While fundamentally Twitter is akin to a web-based IRC chat client, the micro-blogging platform is quickly becoming one of the most popular and most valuable properties on the web. Twitter has garnered this kind of fame and popularity because of several important reasons.
1. Content Creation – With nearly every tweet, new content is born. This is unlike most popular social media sites and search engines that simply regurgitate information, or the big social networks like Facebook which act as walled gardens. Considering that each Twitter user creates new content on a daily basis, which effectively adds to Twitter’s mass repository of searchable information and data, the ability for Twitter to perform well on popular search engines (Google, Yahoo, Live) for high ranking positions on SERPS is staggering to say the least.
2. Data Mining – The 140 character limit keeps user comments short and too the point. This makes evaluation of one’s opinion on a given topic much easier to gauge. Because Twitter captures these live comments and makes them searchable (via their own search engine), this allows individuals, businesses, and organizations to gather useful information and feedback about their ideas, products, and services.
3. Breaking News – By Twittering recent events, primary sources (eye witnesses and those involved) are breaking news stories themselves, not the traditional news media (i.e. tv, radio, newpapers). In some sense Twitter has given each person their own personal microphone for which to broadcast to the entire world; thereby adding more weight and validity to the emergence and power of social media.
4. Ubiquitous Access – Practically everyone has a mobile phone nowadays and Twitter entered just as the world is enamored with text messaging. Members can easily tweet via the mounting number of cell phone apps and mobile devices. Twitter can also be accessed online or offline from your desktop or web browser via any one of the numerous web applications and clients that utilize the Twitter API.
5. Follow Me – This may not seem like a big deal initially but simply using the word “follow” instead of “subscribe” is better understood and more accepted by most people. More importantly, by default, following someone does not require confirmation from the person that is being followed. This is in contrast to most social networks where adding someone as a friend usually requires their permission. The term follow me also bestows a celebrity-like feel that’s self-empowering and more personal.
6. Loyal Active Community – The majority of Twitter users participate in discussions as well as engage in helping other members. Twitter provides an excellent medium for which to network and connect with others who share similar interests. Twitter suffered quite a few service outages and frequently slowed to a crawl during its infancy but the majority of users did not turn away. The same cannot be said for traditional social networks like Friendster where many believe such problems led to users embracing its competitor, MySpace.
7. K.I.S.S. – Keeping it short and simple ensures that Twitter is easy to use, it appeals to many, and because users are limited 140 characters, comments and replies are kept short and pithy. Perhaps nowhere else is practicing the KISS principle more appropriate and critically necessary than on the web. Visitors are quick to scan and leave your website if they do not like what they see, do not understand it, or they are not able to quickly and easily discover what they are looking for. Twitter not only accomplishes this with their service but also in their website’s design.
8. Flexibility – Twitter basically does one thing very well and because it doesn’t try to do everything it can therefore be easily integrated with other services (e.g. Jott, WordPress) and be used to do other things (i.e. micro diary, reminders, news aggregator, image and video sharing). This ensures long term growth such that users will continue to find new and exciting uses for Twitter thereby sparking more Twitter based clients and applications to be developed.
9. Addictively Entertaining – Because of it’s great accessibility, vast diversity of users, and endless variety of open discussions that are constantly occuring within the Twittersphere, users can easily find interesting things and entertaining people to follow. With all that going for it, it’s a no-brainer there’s going to be lots of Twitter fanatics promoting the joys of the Twitterverse.
10. Mass Appeal – Twitter’s visitor traffic just hit an inflection point and is starting to go mainstream. What’s even more impressive is that I am starting to see older generations begin to adopt it (i.e. grandparents) relatively early in its lifetime. In contrast, it seems that it took seniors much longer to adapt to more traditional social networking sites. Perhaps because websites like Facebook and MySpace try to do nearly everything which clearly affects the slope of the learning curve.
If you liked this article, please take this time to share it with your Facebook friends using the Facebook button (see Facebook post button to the left) or retweet it using Twitter (see retweet button to the left). You may also want to follow us or subscribe to the site to stay up-to-date with this article. If you'd rather follow us from your Facebook account, join our Facebook fan page or subscribe to our NetworkedBlogs profile.
Please Tweet, Bookmark, or Share This Free Content Using These Services: