Thursday, March 19, 2009

Twitter Goes Mainstream Media; Does That Signal Its Demise?

Twitter has finally hit the mainstream media. Quite honestly, it has gotten so much press lately you would think this social networking site only just emerged on the scene. Yet it's been around for a few years now, so can we really call it "Twittermania" simply because the mainstream press has finally taken notice? The great thing about being an early adopter is being able to feel like you are in this secret, underground society where you know something most people don't. You know the advantages and disadvantages of being a part of this exclusive group, and you even try to lure people over little by little simply because you understand the value. But you also know that once enough people are on board, it's growth is like a high speed train careening out of control...until it hits a brick wall. Will Twitter become the next MySpace hitting the height of popularity only to then meet a turning point allowing a competitor to emerge and steal the spotlight? Or has the exposure Twitter is now receiving THAT turning point which determines how we will evolve the way we interact and communicate in the future?

I make the comparison to MySpace because for some time MySpace, as we know, was insanely popular. It still is, but that popularity is being userped by it's once underdog competitor, Facebook. At some point MySpace had expansive growth even despite tons of bad press due to spammers and being known as the hot spot for child predators. MySpace had a difficult time getting a handle on this and while they focused on changing it, it gave Facebook the opportunity to step in...again as a place that was a one-time "secret" of the early adopters. MySpace's continuous press coverage flooded the site with new users yet at the same time plateauing its popularity. So I have to wonder if something we all have pushed so hard for, the mass adoption of Twitter, will really be the turning point for its demise.

Whether it is or it isn't, this really could signify something much bigger. Twitter going mainstream WILL change the way society communicates. It will change the way businesses interact with its customers. It will change the way we all network as a whole. So while Twitter's popularity may come and go, I think it's rise to stardom will push the evolution of communications and human interaction as we know it--starting now.

What do you think?

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