Twitter to Fizzle or Flare?
There has been a fair amount of chatter (not just tweeting) suggesting that the Twitterevolution is beginning to fade. On the heels of the news that 6 million Americans and 1.5 million Canadians have “left” Facebook, there is much discussion of the end of the cycle in the major social media networks, at least in the mature countries. The “Twittergate” of Congressman Anthony Weiner in the US, as well as the attempted Ryan Giggs gag (Manchester United homegrown football star) and several other politicians faux-pas in the UK, does make for a slew of negative press, highlighting the dangers of Twitter and, presumably, fanning the flames of fear in companies. Moreover, in France, there was the fairly unfortunate decision at the beginning of the month of June to ban the media from telling their audience to consult them on Twitter or Facebook (N.B. the French media can still tweet, but it is still not sure if they can use on air the noun “tweet” or use the verb “to tweet”).
That said, for Facebook, I believe there is still a lot of legs on its journey. One key will be whether it cracks the Chinese code. Meanwhile, I would firmly maintain that, at least for Twitter, we have not seen the end of it.
As I have mentioned before, I think 2012 will bring with it a host of reasons for Twitterfever to re-ignite (specifically the various 2012 Presidential elections and the Olympics). More to the point, the usage of Twitter in business clearly is just beginning to pick up (at least in non English-speaking countries). The key usages in business: market watch (including news), customer engagement and service.
But, it is the integration of Twitter across other platforms that is likely to ensure Twitter’s ascendancy. First, Twitter is all over the newly announced Apple iOS 5 (due out in September). Secondly, there is the arrival and [hopeful mainstreaming] of new integrated services and platforms such as Rapportive for gmail (see below) or Xobni (which is platform neutral). The Rapportive service (via Chrome add-on in my case), allows you to visualize the profile of the person who sent you a mail, to the extent that person is in your social network. You will notice that there is a strong presence of the Twitter feed. Here is a screen capture.
My point here is that Twitter will start to pop up everywhere as Twitter’s real time feed becomes ever more present in the search results; as Twitter Connect helps link up people’s sign on; as Twitter becomes integrated into all number of applications, especially in the Apple iOS universe, or in enterprise software… Of course, 2012 will surely feature the marquee public offering of Facebook and one must suspect that Twitter will follow suit.
What other factors could spur Twitter’s growth? Or do you believe that Twitter’s growth has peaked?