Michael Arrington put up an interesting post on TechCrunch recently regarding Twitter’s continued growth in popularity, stating “I realized that in the last two months a subtle shift occurred: I now need Twitter more than Twitter needs me.”
For me Twitter became indispensable in March 2008, when my usage skyrocketed (I started using a desktop client to read and write messages) – see image above. It is now an important part of my work and social life, as I carry on bite-sized conversations with thousands of people around the world throughout the day. It’s a huge marketing tool, and information tool. But it is also a social habit that’s hard to kick.
While I hate to agree with him, it really made me wonder if we become so dependent on services that no others will do. Twitter, like most online applications has many copycat competitors. Jaiku and Pownce quickly come to mind, and while I knew that neither seemed to have the power to attract a wide audience that Twitter has, I had hoped that Pownce would compete well against Twitter due to its advanced features.
I was wrong in thinking this would be the case, as even Pownce and Jaiku supporters jump on board the Twitter bandwagon, some telling themselves that Twitter is just their status update, and Pownce is their communication tool, isn’t that right Kevin Rose?
When I saw Kevin Rowse, one of the people responsible for Pownce, using Twitter more and more, I realized how powerful the brand had become. I think we can safely say that like Coke, Kleenex and others, Twitter has become synonymous with being “the” short update service.
I still think though, that some missteps could ruin Twitter, and I hope that Twitter, and other online services dependent on users adoption keep that in mind as they continue to move their businesses forward. Just remember, even search engine popularity has changed over the decades, so continue to be forward thinking, serve your user base, and take care of your users, or no matter how popular you think you are, they will leave you.
If you want to follow me on Twitter, check out www.twitter.com/davidcubed