Thursday, February 4, 2010

Twitter is for the Olds

A new study is making its way around the interwebs today discussing the use of Social Media among young adults.

One key finding is:

8% of internet users ages 12-17 use Twitter. This makes Twitter as common among teens as visiting a virtual world, and far less common than sending or receiving text messages as 66% of teens do, or going online for news and political information, done by 62% of online teens.

I have discussed my concerns regarding Twitter before, and within the last year my views haven’t changed substantially.

Although Twitter gets a ton of media buzz, its usage isn’t comparable to the attention it generates and uniques to Twitter are actually down 24% compared with its peak in July. (Source)

Couple this decrease in traffic with the fact that kids don’t think Twitter is cool, (Face it, what kids think is cool rules our lives people! Would the world know about Miley Cyrus if not for 14 year old girls?) and I have to wonder about the direction the platform will take.

From a marketing perspective, Twitter has some problems as well. Last night I attended the SUXORZ -Worst Social Media Campaign Awards and the unanimous winner (or maybe loser) was the misuse of dynamic Twitter feeds for marketing campaigns.


In an effort to not just be a sayer of nay, here are some of my thoughts as to where I see Twitter going.

  • In 2010 Twitter will see a slight resurgence but never reach the level of success of Facebook or MySpace.
  • We will change our perception of Twitter as a mass platform and see it as a more niche, specialized social channel (i.e. LinkedIn, Polyvore, and Flickr).
  • I think the biggest opportunity for a Twitter win lies with the news media. We’ve see that Twitter gets a boost surrounding breaking news events. Smart media companies will get better at leveraging the platform to promote their news content. CNN is doing a great job at this, but I would like to see correspondents on the ground using the platform to share breaking news updates and images, while always linking back to the deeper analysis on their main site.


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