Rise and Shine

5 Reasons Twitter Can’t Fail

Twitter is Over Capacity Graphic

In 2005 no one saw the demise of MySpace coming. Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation had just spent $580 million buying the property, which at the time looked like the hottest thing since Microsoft. A year after News Corp took over MySpace became the most visited website on the Internet, and that was around the time that they jumped the shark.

The technology sector is notoriously hard to predict. That hasn’t stopped bloggers and pundits from putting a timeframe on the demise of the Internet’s current social leaders, Facebook and Twitter. Facebook is entrenched in the daily lives of nearly a billion users, so most people agree that it’s a little harder to usurp. Twitter on the other hand hasn’t enjoyed the same level of confidence.

I had read a few posts that would have already had Twitter losing steam as early as 2011. Many more figure that the micro-blogging site will run its course around 2013. I believe that Twitter has the components in place to last over five more years, and will go as far to say that it will be a social leader into the next decade. I predict that either Google or Facebook will develop their own Twitter spin-off, and unless they can replace Twitter with a sleeker version, the bird is going to be nesting for quite some time – here is why.

Television

Internet users have started the practice of tweeting during television broadcasts. Tweets will cross the feed seconds after the end of a sporting event, when something exciting happens on Jersey Shore, and in response to Bill O’reily’s latest rant. When I want to know what shows are popular on a given night, a quick tweet will solicit several recommendations. There are several applications in development that plan to form Twitter communities around television programs, and even the TVs themselves are becoming smarter, integrating social networking directly into the hardware. Twitter’s 140 character real time chat is the perfect infrastructure for communication when your attention is divided, and hash tags that show up in the marquee of your favorite TV shows is a testament to that.

Twitter API

One of the most progressive moves that any social network has made is the adoption of the Open API. Both Facebook and Twitter’s longevity will benefit from users’ dependence on their accounts to access a vast network of applications and websites that are integrated through the API of one or both of the networks. It is much simpler to login to or sign up for a web based service when all it takes is the click of a button. The applications have become dependent on social integration as well, a trend that wasn’t fully apparent during the downfall of MySpace.

Confidence is inspired by Statistics

Social networks are measured in users, hours, tweets and likes. It’s easier to gain a foothold on Twitter than any other social network, and marketers know that. Most savvy users know that a lot of Twitter accounts are automated or inflated, but the average person doesn’t realize that. It makes the viability of the network look a lot more real than it actually is, with users, advertisers, and the bloggers who are dying to report at Twitter’s funeral.

Made for Mobile

The whole premise of news in 140 characters plays to the strengths of mobile technology, and the weaknesses of the connected citizen. Our short attention spans and shrinking displays both play right into Twitter’s hands. The ability to consume posts at a glance works as well with photos, a theory that Pinterest proved earlier this year. As long as mobile access to the World Wide Web increases, Twitter’s active user base will increase as well.

America’s Celebrity Infatuation

There have been plenty of groups adopt Twitter, but the most active and prevalent are the pop music fans. I predict that sports involvement with Twitter will continue to grow, and before long major league teams will add mandatory Twitter use to the contracts of most players. Regular people are drawn to celebrities, and even though 99 out of every 100 celebrity mentions will go unnoticed, that 1 percent is more than enough to keep super fans tweeting in the hopes of getting followed or mentioned by their idols.

 

Fox’s Losing Gamble on MySpace

By 2008 Facebook had gained enough ground to become the most popular social networking site worldwide. Nothing that MySpace tried could reverse their fortunes, and in June 2011 News Corp sold out for a puny $35 million, for a net loss of $545 million; Another bad investment that was intended to move some of their holdings out of traditional media into digital properties. At the end of 2011 MySpace was ranked 138th by Alexa for total web traffic, a monumental fall from grace.

 

Whether you want to be the first to hear breaking news (Twitter often breaks news several minutes before mainstream news channels) or you want to know what your favorite quarterback is doing this weekend (bookies would love to know that Tim Tebow is going skydiving) the Twitter platform offers unique insights and content you can’t get elsewhere. You don’t have to put much time into it, and it doesn’t change as often as Facebook. We think we’ll be sending tweets for a long time to come, what do you think?

Adam Justice

rel=author">Adam Justiceis the founder of Social Media Sun, and an accomplished web developer / online marketing specialist.Check out Adam Justice's personal website or contact him through Twitter .

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15 comments

  1. Twitter became the medium of celebrity interaction with their fans in a way that no other form of social media has been able to come close to.  It is ingrained in television as you mentioned with live tweeting during shows and that alone will easily keep Twitter in the forefront for another 10 years.

    • I think you’re right Candace. The startup farms are betting on Twitter’s relationship with cable, so I assume their proprietary data supports it as well.

      • Adam, I wondered about your take on Retweet This, the system that trades points for tweeting other people’s material so the user can “pay” others to retweet their own links.  I’ve been using it and wonder how the experts view it

        • Sounds llike a bad investment to me, and I’ve actually never even heard of it. Good content gets shared for free, and that’s the magic in marketing content on Twitter and social media. I don’t think it’s always a bad idea to pay for an in road, but concentrate on your content first and foremost.

          • AstroGremlin /

            Thanks, Adam. You are probably right. Haven’t been back there for awhile. And took a shower.

  2. Dr Rhia /

    Good…I’m glad Twitter isn’t going anywhere for a while for I have work to do…

    Rhia at http://dr-rhia.blogspot.com/2012/02/why.html

  3. For further proof, look at the events of the Daytona 500. Driver decides to tweet from his car during the race and scores 50,000 followers within the half hour break while they were cleaning up the inferno. The free flow of information plays right into our cultural infatuation w/ instant gratification. Great post Adam

    • NASCAR has one of the most desirable opportunities in Social Media with Twitter. 43 drivers who will attract organic followings of between 40k -200k a piece, and are down to earth enough that their personalities will mirror the fans. If Mark Martin’s foray into Twitter this week didn’t inspire PR officials with NASCAR to look into the possibilities, nothing will.

      However on the other side of the coin, you have 43 drivers with southern conservative viewpoints. They have opinions that aren’t very popular with the Internet, and inhaling exhaust fumes for 500 miles can inspire some loose talking. It would take some education on the part of their management.

      I love it that you pointed this out Tony, people always overlook positive Social Media stories. If NASCAR would have banned Planned Parenthood from sponsoring Jeff Gordon, we still wouldn’t have heard the end of it. 

  4. Twitter is without a doubt beating anything else at ‘breaking news’, I have yet to fully ‘get’ twitter other than that.

  5. Anonymous /

    I think the chief problem and jeopardy from Twitter is that it’s not a protocol like email, it’s a website. I posted this about how that played a role in the Arab Spring: http://technicalmike.blogspot.com/2011/01/egyptians-are-trying-to-tell-us-why.html

  6. Elizabeth /

    I am brand new to twitter and “social networking” after a five year break. With technology and options changing ever eight seconds I find that twitter serves so many cross/multiple purposes for a newby like me.  I started following some of the top soical media guys who are in constant touch of how to navigate that I got my free education in just a few hours.  I hope it has some staying power, because I am just getting started.

    • Well Elizabeth, we definitely would like you to learn and grow with us here at Social Media Sun. It’s really easy to make a mistake once you get going that will set you back, and it can hurt even more if you represent someone else’s interests. I’ve saw lots of changes take place online in the time I’ve been working in this medium, but I’ve been lucky to learn how to do things from the ground up so the change from web 1.0 to web 2.0, and eventually to web 3.0 doesn’t take an entire re-learning to navigate. 

  7. So True–>> Twitter often breaks news several minutes before mainstream news channel.. That point in particular is why Twitter will not fail :)

  8. eleisia /

    Twitter has a wider and more diverse demographic than MySpace had as a social networking site. The free flow of information and variety of topics encourages interaction.

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