Twitter, understimated?

Om Malik of GigaOM says,

Twitter..crossed the chasm and became passe at the same time at the South by South West gathering in Austin, Texas earlier this month.

Mat Balez of Web1979 makes no bones about his disdain for Twitter,

I’ve commented far and wide about the inanity and potential danger of the tool, and even discussed some of the associated social repercussions on this blog. But I’d like to now go one step further, and predict its imminent supernova-like implosion.

I think the phenomenon, why many social networking media companies may never see the light of mass adoption can be summed up as ‘plunging down the chasm, head first’. First, they get picked up by mavens who hype up the cool factor. Next, throngs of fans follow their lead, which creates mass hysteria. Thereby, the true value of the new media is completely lost as all the wannabes try to get in on the action, thereby bringing down the system as a whole.

It’s the worst possible good news-bad news scenario, where good news for Twitter is that it’s getting tremendous amounts of traffic and publicity, bad news is it doesn’t seem to have any idea how to monetize that craze. By the time, new media companies figure how to make money, the crowds (sadly enuf) have already moved on to the next big fad.

I am not a huge Twitter fan, I think it’s been abused to the point of banality. However, I see tremendous potential as a viral marketing platform…among many other potential uses. But the key is for Twitter (and other social media companies) to figure out who their users are and find a way to deliver more value to them.

The reason search advertising is powerful schtuff is because your work is already done for you ie. the user is telling you what he/she is looking for. If social media companies like Twitter can identify their user base’s primary need and tie this into their social networking platform – voila, they haven’t just launched another hyped-up product, but one that…ooh la la..could actually make money.

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