A friend of mine recently posted an article from The Atlantic, “A Eulogy for Twitter”, questioning the validity. I spent time reading and rereading, thinking about what this article meant. Was it true? Is Twitter the next MySpace? I thought I’d share my response here, in a more pubic forum.
While good points are made, saying that Twitter is entering its twilight seems awfully extreme. Platforms grow and change, and then immediately people balk and say, “We are leaving. We don’t like it anymore. It’s different. We hate change.” That being said, it has grown exponentially in the past few years. It’s become common place for professionals to be expected to have one and for businesses to have a presence.
Is Twitter overrun with spammers and bots? Yes. Is there a lot of noise and hateful negativity? Also yes. Can you choose to tune that out and still have meaningful conversations? I guess it depends on how big your audience is. Maybe not for the Justin Biebers of the world who have millions of followers (and let’s be honest, probably isn’t having meaningful dialogue ANYWAY), but for the average joe, yes.
It is safe to say that Twitter as an agency has made some dodgy choices (like scaring off third party developers) and have focused a lot on appearances that don’t necessarily matter (who actually spends more than 3 minutes on a personal page anyway?! It’s all about the newsfeed). BUT that doesn’t mean that they don’t have a bright future ahead.
Twitter is a place for conversation in a public forum unlike ANYWHERE else. There is no other platform that I am aware of that actually connects people to each other with zero barrier beyond finding one another. Everywhere else is all about being friends, being connections, knowing someone personally. Twitter allows engagement without that crucial step of “following”. I get to tweet and converse with people who I may otherwise never speak to. There is no where else on the internet that I’m aware of in which it happens in such a simple way.
Is Twitter in its Twilight? I don’t think so. Then again, technology is changing rapidly. Who knows what competitors will arrive and shake up the way we think about conversation and connecting.