I was all set to write a witty and insightful piece as to why Twitter isn’t about to go mainstream or replace facebook, for since the Daily Mail did some blatant link baiting had a go at the world of Twitter last week, many keen twitterers* have sprung to its defence and suggested that it is about to hit the big time. offering coverage by the mainstream media and the uptake of its usage by various slebs, notably @stephenfry and @wossy aka Jonathon Ross.
Which is all fair enough, but my point was going to be that a few articles in the mainstream media and a few famous users doesn’t translate into mass adoption. I’m thinking about Second Life here which received crazy amounts of coverage in 2006 and is now an integral part of every netizen’s day to day life.
Now Twitter is not Second Life, it has far, far more users for starters and probably less furries**, but it’s still a little geeky. I know that my non-social media maven mates think that I’m a little weird for sending texts to some website when I’m out and about with them, just to let a bunch of strangers know what I’m up to. Yet following some recent events I can’t help but feel that maybe Twitter will sneak its way into the every day life of far more people and the general conscience of the population, mainly because of the new sleb users.
I recently joined Rucku, a rugby based social network, after ex-England rugby captain @willcarling joined Twitter to promote it. I now know about three ppl who’ve joined Rucku from Twitter, but I can now name about a dozen ppl who’ve joined Twitter from Rucku, pretty much because Will Carling was on there already.
A quick squizz at Alexia and Google trends shows that Twitter traffic and searches for the microblogging site have both spiked in the past week. Which all goes to prove, well that celebrities have influence. It’s possible that Carling has more influence on the Rucku gang because they are already interacting with him on the Rucku site, making him score more highly on the ‘person like me’ chart, which as Edelman keeps telling us is the most credible source when it comes to recommendations.
So will we see more users join, enticed by twelebrities? It will certainly be worth keeping an eye on the the stats and how many ppl are following Fry and Ross, if Fry does twitter on Ross’ come back show this month, which Ross has mooted asking him to do.
The final question is if ppl do join so that they can follow their favourite sleb, how long will the stay around on Twitter for? I would also suggest that the more ppl that join Twitter in order to interact with slebs, the less opportunity there will be for the interaction to happen. Keep track and talking to a couple of hundred on the site is doable, but what happens when there are thousands asking questions and sending DMs?
I guess we just have to wait and see.
*What is the group noun for a bunch of twitter users – Flange? Twits? Geeks?
**Then again how would we be able to tell?