I’ve been writing a lot lately about Twitter for many reasons, but I think two very good examples of why Twitter represents a key social media breakthrough are the upcoming Twitter tweets from space by NASA astronaut Mark Polansky and last month’s contest for followers between celebrity Ashton Kutcher and CNN news. (Kutcher won by topping a million Twitter followers first). Note that NASA and Kutcher – arguably two of the more technically adept big name brands, are not using Facebook to push content and interact with fans, they are using Twitter.
Unlike Facebook, Twitter is a very open, interactive, public venue. It’s almost ideally suited to superficial yet “somewhat intimate” interaction with both a small and large audience, and I think this is the key brilliancy of Twitter. It serves both as a messaging system with friends or business associates but also as a kind of community public square that allows you to interact with millions of other people in an informal yet direct way. Pushing out a note to the world via Twitter, especially if you have a lot of people following you, is likely to result in fast, often rewarding feedback.
For well over a decade it has been clear that the internet is about *people* much more than it is about technology or computers. However it’s only in the last few years that the barriers to entry, the familiarity with the tools, widespread access to broadband, mobile phones, and more of the human components of the internet have come together in the necessary ways to push people ahead of technology as the key online consideration. Twitter remains at the same time superficial and profound and is the culmination of that online socialization paradigm. With only tens of millions using Twitter and over 200 million on Facebook there is clearly plenty of room for Facebook success, but I believe we’ll see Twitter continue to grow more rapidly and become the key global messaging tool – primarily because it’s so simple to use and much friendlier for mobile applications.
Yes, you should be on Twitter too and let me know so I can follow you! Joe Duck on Twitter