Saturday, September 04, 2010

Here's Twitter's Big Problem: It's Not Going Mainstream [Business Insider]

A timely Twitter reality check (via Dave Kellogg); check the link below for more details and a telling chart.  I think Twitter also has a fundamental problem not addressed in the article: Twitter’s conceptual model lacks context – both in its staccato tweet model and in its information item (and “social graph”) relationship structure (e.g., low information value-add RT @[Twitter id] links that leave context reconstitution as an exercise for the reader).  I find Twitter useful as a high-level meme-watcher tool but not much else, and, as other services with more powerful conceptual models (especially Facebook) become more useful for meme-watching, I expect I’ll be investing less time and attention in the Twitterverse.

The last few months have begun to confirm a conviction we've long held about Twitter--that, in its current form, it's not likely to become a huge mass-market phenomenon.

Given that the tech community is obsessed with Twitter and that Twitter already has an astounding 145 million users worldwide, that may seem a ludicrous hypothesis--but other data backs it up.

For starters, check out the chart we published this morning from Gawker Media. The chart shows the social-media referrals to Gawker's sites over the past year.  The main trend in the chart is the collapse of Digg and the rise of Facebook.  But an important lesser trend is that Twitter (green) hasn't grown much as a referral source over the past year, especially relative to Facebook and--surprise--Stumbleupon.

Here's Twitter's Big Problem: It's Not Going Mainstream

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