Over the past month, i’ve started using twitter more and more. It started out as me trying to build more contacts and then i quickly realized that the contacts where a mere bonus; it was the flow of high quality information that was the real value.
So i pushed twitter more and more on my blog, within my circle of friends and at college. It seems my enthusiasm has been replicated over the past month by new users – twitter is now the fastest growing social network in Ireland.
I’m now ‘following’ over 1600 people. So that means i’m listening to what 1600 people have to say all day every day. Most of the people i follow are working or playing in IT.
They’re industry leaders and trendsetters – the guys who usually get information first, or else create it themselves. As a result of following these guys, digg is now old news to me, my RSS reader is full of old news, TV is DEFINITELY full of old news and newspapers don’t stand a chance.
It’ll be all over the celebrity / gossip sections of papers tomorrow. Same happened with the Rihanna / Chris Brown story – i don’t follow this stuff generally but because i’m using twitter constantly, i can’t help but hear about it as it breaks in real time. That’s the gossipy type stuff a lot of tabloids and magazines survive on and twitter could well start to kill tabloid newspapers and gossip magazines.
Twitter is however, not mainstream yet, far from it… but it’s slowly getting there. A recent $35m investment will no doubt speed up twitter’s journey to becoming and (i think overtaking) facebook as the world’s leading social networking website. It’s not really a social networks as we know it, but it connects people informally so it has to be bracketed as one.
A huge spin-off twitter micro economy has shot up almost overnight. There are literally hundreds of tools and sites which cater for all your twitter related needs. A few irish one’s worth a look are twecipe and qwitter.
Although website sales are slowing down just like everything else, anything twitter related sells instantly and you can prove that by looking at some recent sitepoint sales;
From twitters point of view, the growth and hype is nice but it means nothing if they can’t generate revenue. There’s plenty of money to be made by businesses using twitter, but how twitter can make money for themselves is another matter…
The idea of charging businesses to own an account has been floated about – that won’t work. Then we have the idea of businesses buying ‘featured’ slots on twitter so that people are more likely to follow them – that may work.
There are a lot of problems facing twitter though and it’ll be interesting to see how they handle them… i’m sure Google are also tempted to snap it up having failed or refused to buy digg at the last minute. Twitter would probably be a wiser investment.