It is my opinion that the Twitter ‘bubble’ will burst soon. There is no denying that, right now, Twitter is a major force in the social media ring and an amazing tool for businesses; however, their statistics, lack of revenue, and content which is being tweeted lead me to believe that the bright idea will fail sooner than later. Twitter is essentially a giant RSS feed that allows people to not only share links to their pages, but to say clever, and not so clever, blurbs in under 140 characters. RSS feeds have always suffered in popularity compared to other social media outlets. As of 2009, only 10% of online consumers were using RSS feeds. (1)
As of 2012 Twitter has approximately 500 million registered accounts as of early 2012. Of those 500 million registered accounts, only 175 million tweets occur per day. One may see this as 35% of users tweeting; however, many parties, public and private, may tweet between 5 and 10 times a day or more, thus drastically reducing the number of active users who are participating in ‘conversations’. Less than one third of the users are active. In order to be considered an active user one must have updated their account once in the past 3 months. (1)(3)
Twitter does not provide a service that other social media platforms have previously introduced and is limited where others are not. If you want to share something on Facebook, it’s easy to do and you are not restricted to 140 characters.
By sharing their APIs so early and leaving them open to the world, Twitter has effectively shot itself in the foot allowing other applications to manipulate their systems and block ads as well. Ads are Twitter’s only notable form of income. In a world that’s moving toward mobile technologies, no one wants to view ads and there is not enough space on most cell phones to place an ad without detracting from the application below it. Regardless of how cool of an idea it is, Twitter will not be able to continue to afford the related costs of providing this service for free. This will increase outages, thus decreasing the user experience and loyalty.
Finally, like most media platforms, this too will become saturated with advertisements and people promoting companies for chances at winning something or getting a coupon code. While this is a wonderful way to energize your community, you’re tapping the well dry. Once the community has become so over saturated with ads, active users will soon begin to fall off due to the high amount of pointless tweets, which they weren’t used to in 2010. By this time, the original founders will have made off with their venture capital and killed another one trick pony. (see Blogger.com & Odeo)
(1) Groundswell p.33