Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Future of Twitter

Pretty big news from Twitter announced today.  Over the next few weeks, they'll begin launching their photo and video sharing service that will allow users to share content without the use of Twitpic or other third-party services. It amazes me that it has taken this long for Twitter to launch their own sharing service considering Facebook has been doing this for years now.  I know Twitter doesn't want to be another Facebook, but it was pretty obvious that their users enjoy sharing photos and videos over Twitter, and third-party sites are just an unnecessary hassle.  I'd expect the number of photos/videos posted on Twitter to skyrocket over the next few weeks when users realize how much easier is to share and view them. There are aspects to Twitter I tend to find very frustrating, like the difficulty of searching and browsing the pages you follow, how irrelevant trending topics can be sometimes, how unclear the divide between a retweet and a response can be and of course, that frustrating 140 character limit. Most of these are fixable and will most likely be addressed as Twitter progresses (except for maybe the character limit).

Also saw some pretty interesting stats on Twitter.  Only 13% of internet users are Twitter users as well, but that number is up 5% from half a year ago.   25% of online African Americans use Twitter, compared to just 9% of whites.  Pretty interesting stat, although no explanation was offered.  It would be interesting to see it compared to stats on Facebook usage.  Only half of Twitter users access the site though their phones, a number that will continue to grow as smart phones become more prevalent considering the mobile and immediate nature of Twitter. It's far more interesting to Tweet about a concert as it's happening rather than waiting until you get home.

I admit I was hesitant about using Twitter at first. It seemed like another Facebook that stripped down everything to just status updates.  But it definitely has set itself apart. Among other things, Facebook doesn't allow you to follow celebrities as well , and it does seem less cluttered than what Facebook has become. It'll be interesting to see where they head in years to come, and what they'll do to avoid becoming irrelevant as Facebook continues to attempt taking over the Social Media world.

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