The Future of Twitter
For a couple of months I’ve been watching the explosion of Twitter-related news and trying to figure out what it means for the future of Twitter. I don’t use it, I never will, and I find most of the celebutards using it as idiotic as the people who follow them. I was pretty convinced that Twitter would fail soon, since it was getting used and commented on old people who clearly don’t understand the new technology (Peter King of SI and the two or more people it took to teach him how to use it spring to mind). This would make the first adopters grimace in distaste and move on to the next hot thing, with King Celebutard Ashton Kutcher leading the way. Soon after, Twitter would die and I would never have to hear the word “tweet” used without baby birds being involved. Now, I am not so sure.
What changed my mind was when Drew Rosenhaus (superagent to the self-entitled) began using Twitter to broadcast the status of his clients. I’d seen other uses of it at a corporate level (broadcasting draft picks before the pick was made, etc) but for the first time I saw a use and a role for it in corporate America – which, like it or not, is what is going to determine long-term adoption. It’s like Bizarro email – it allows the user to send a message, but it is up to other people to listen for it. It removes the burden of choosing who to send the message to – instead, it is received by those who wish to listen for it. I can see press releases and other standard offerings by companies going out in similar ways in the future. It just won’t be with Twitter.
Why not Twitter? Because imitators will come along and they will be used by powerful or sought-after people (probably for a healthy cash sum), which will mark the need for a standard method of transition/reception. It will follow a similar arc that America Online (AOL for those younger than 25) did – if you weren’t on AOL, you were an anomaly. People assumed you needed AOL to get that mystic thing called Electronic Mail and to type “sex” in a search engine. It didn’t last either. In a couple of years, Microsoft Outlook will allow you choose the portal you use for your message, and it will also allow you to receive those messages that you choose to receive. It will become as standard as email. I just hope someone changes the term from tweeting. That is gheyer than Ashton Kutcher.