Every year around SXSW, there’s a surge in interest about twitter. This time around people have even gone as far as to proclaim twitter to be “the next google” or “the future of search” etc. Bullocks!
1) distant from other social networks – While we are seeing a massive surge in interest and usage of twitter, it is still a long way off from the number of users of other social networks; it will take a long time to get to critical mass; and this is a prerequisite for twitter to assail the established habit of the majority of consumers to “google it.” — Google’s already a verb.
2) no business model – It remains to be seen whether Twitter can come up with a business model to survive for the long haul. Ads with search are proven. Ads on social networks are not. And given the 140-character limit, there’s hardly any space to add ads.
3) lead adopters’ perspective is skewed - Twitter is still mostly lead adopters and techies so far; so the perspectives on its potential may be skewed too positively. As more mainstream users start to use it, we’re likely to see more tweets about nose picking, waking up, making coffee, being bored, etc…. This will quickly make the collective mass of content far less specialized and useful (as it is now).
4) too few friends to matter – Most people have too few friends. Not everyone is a Scott Monty ( @scottmonty ) with nearly 15,000 followers. So while a user’s own circle of friends would be useful for real-time searches like “what restaurant should I go to right now?” the circle is too small to know everything about everything they want to search on. And even if you take it out to a few concentric circles from the original user who asked, that depends on people retweeting your question to their followers and ultimately someone notifying you when the network has arrived at an answer — not likely to happen.
5) topics only interesting to small circle of followers – Most topics tweeted are interesting to only a very small circle of followers, most likely not even to all the followers of a particular person. A great way to see this phenomenon is with twitt(url)y. It measures twitter intensity of a particular story and lists the most tweeted and retweeted stories. Out of the millions of users and billions of tweets, the top most tweeted stories range in the 100 – 500 tweet range and recently these included March 18 – Apple’s iPhone OS 3.0 preview event; #skittles; and the shutdown of Denver’s Rocky Mountain News. Most other tweets are simply not important enough to enough people for them to retweet.
6) single purpose apps or social networks go away when other sites come along with more functionality or when big players simply add their functionality to their suite of services.
Am I missing something here, people? Agree with me or tell me I’m stupid @acfou