If Twitter continues to build its base and has rejigged its web interface, I do get the feeling that Twitter usage is evolving as more people get the hang of it. There are now some 145 million registered ‘users’ of Twitter (via The NextWeb), but the number of active users is more likely to be around 50 million per Jesse Stay of SocialToo. What are the trends that I see happening in Twitterville?
- Trash. The number of “build the follower” campaigns and scammers seems to be ever growing. (Read this report from TechCrunch in July). You can tell by the number of suspended accounts that Twitter is on the case. For some people and brands (not scammers), the game plan is basically to follow as many people as possible and see if they reciprocate. If they don’t reciprocate, they unfollow you. Pretty simple, pretty cheesy. I have stopped doing the automatic follow back as a result. Waste of time. (BTW I use socialoomph to manage my automatic response and following).
- Twitter in the Cloud. Rather than use Twitter itself, people continue to access Twitter via the other platforms (I use Tweetdeck principally) — both on the computer and via mobile. However, I can believe that Twitter is trying to gain back some of the control with its new site.
- Twitter is becoming rather cosmopolitan. It is evident that Twitter is hitting the tipping point here in France. I recognize, however, that having a bilingual twit account is not exactly favourable for most of the followers. It’s like having a bilingual blog. It puts off the people who don’t speak that foreign language. I am beginning to believe it would be best to have a French account and an English account. What do you think?
- Brands Talking? With all the clutter in the Twitter stream, I can see that brands are going to have a great challenge slicing through the noise… And the challenge will be, for example, not appearing to be overbearing by tweeting too frequently the same offer… As indicated by “Internet Psychologist” Graham Jones over in England, it does seem that Twitter users are strong influencers and will help get your post/tweet out into the other networks (Linked In, Facebook, etc.), so brands have a true interest to be present on Twitter. The trick is finding the right voice and content.
As for the new Twitter interface, it would seem that it is a strong improvement over the former version. Still, if I find it a positive step, first I still prefer the variety of functions available on Tweetdeck. Secondly, not a minor detail in my mind, the functionality on Twitter for retweeting remains a bit too rigid (you still don’t have the option to edit the RT!). Mashable is conducting a survey on the level of satisfaction with the new Twitter interface. Here are the results thus far (as of this morning).
So, people seem to appreciate the new Twitter. Where do you prefer to use Twitter? Comments very welcome!