Why Twitter Will Go Mainstream

January 31st, 2008 | Categories: blogs, marketing, networks, social media, trends

Twitter logoToday Mark Evans wrote a great post entitled “Taking Twitter Seriously”. In his post, he ponders whether Twitter can break through to the mainstream. Such a feat has proven very hard for most web 2.0 companies, and technologies for that matter. Even now, blogs and RSS are still just starting break the surface. Having said that, I think that Twitter has a better chance really good chance at achieving mainstream status.

As we all know, Twitter is a micro-blogging platform. Therefore, the technology is a subset of blogging - the main difference being the length of posts. These short messages take very little time and effort to produce. Sound familiar? Text messaging may ring a bell. The explosion of mobile may be a huge catalyst for Twitter. Other forms of posting do not bode well for mobile due to their length. Nevertheless, short status updates seem to fit very well into the grand scheme of things. It doesn’t seem like a huge leap of faith to conceive people transitioning from text messaging to micro-blogging.

Add to that the fact that social networks (most notably Facebook) have facilitated the evolution. How? Well, SN status updates are akin to Twitter. In other words, trying to explain Twitter to a newbie may prove to be difficult, but referencing the SN status update tool may help bring clarity to the process. After all, if people can relate to something they already know, it makes the education process much simpler.

The two aforementioned points around text messaging and social networks bring about a nice conclusion. The learning curve will likely be much lower than most web 2.0 technologies/servics. Adoption is much more likely.

Finally, the main reason Twitter may hit the mainstream is this: it relates to real people. This isn’t “pie-in-the-sky” technology. It’s actually useful and provides real value. The closer the connection with a given Twitter contact, the more important and pertinent their updates will be to you. Obviously, family members and close friends come to mind. The passive ability to check up on your close connections is extremely valuable. Establishing itself as the leader in the space will allow Twitter the opportunity to bring people closer together - a powerful concept.

What do you think about the future of Twitter? Do you think it has what it takes to break through to the mainstream? Or will the trend fall off and the service flounder?


  1. Titus Ferguson Says:

    All these reasons are great for while Twitter will succeed. However, unless they can fix there downtime issues and their SMS problems, they will die like other 2.0 endeavors.

  2. Erik Says:

    I don’t think Twitter will succeed. It doesn’t offer any real value to the end user.

    In order for Twitter break through to the mainstream it needs to provide the end user with a service that a larger number of people desire. The trend of micro blogging will “fall off.”

    The Twitter team should quit building a micro blogging application and start working on an online identification product that they can sell to enterprise clients. Creating a service that offers value to the end user would be a better use of their time.

    Alternatively they could build a better bit torrent search engine. This would also offer value to the end user.

  3. robojiannis Says:

    I think twitter is just a nice game. Users eventually get bored of it. There are some interesting applications of twitter (scoble showed it on the davos meeting), but in the end nobody wants to be followed all the time.
    After the fun is over, privacy has the upper hand.

  4. mark1davidson Says:

    Twitter is to Web 2.0 as Amazon is to Web 1.0.

    The dedicated and hard working team at Twitter should continue to do exactly what they are doing.

    The trend of micro-blogging will not fall off. Unlike traditional blogging, the barrier to entry on Twitter is incredibly low. The time needed to master Twitter is incredibly low. The time needed to participate in Twitter is incredibly low.

    How people use Twitter is incredibly varied and the Twitter-publishing system has proven to be surprisingly flexible. Like all great applications, Twitter is simple enough for anyone to start using immediately and deep enough to allow the l337erati to broadcast their ideas and message to the internet masses in a way that no other Web 2.0 application currently delivers. Twitter allows for freedom of expression and personal style.

    Once the team solves the current scalability issues, Twitter go mainstream. Micro-blogging as a medium is here to stay. At is very minimum, micro-blogging is the new Usenet. At its full potential, micro-blogging is the new SMS, IM, and email rolled into one. Twitter is a new-media hub.


  5. twitterstars.com » Blog Archive » Why Twitter Will Go Mainstream Versus My Bad Grammar Says:

    […] I left a comment on Mapping the Web. At the time I had left my comment, I was convinced that I was being brilliant and insightful. In reality I was destroying the English language. Below, I will re-post my comment but this time, I will proof my post before hitting the submit button. I am notoriously lazy when it comes to proofing my drafts before posting. […]

  6. chantelle Says:

    I have been praising twitter on my Canadian blog (Canada’s top magazine Walrus) without dignity.

    It will succeed because of the synergy of: interface (the interface simplicity), timing (facebook fatigue), ease (any ability) and the creators cleverness and playfulness.

  7. Why Twitter Will Go Mainstream Versus My Bad Grammar | markdavidson.org Says:

    […] left a comment on Mapping the Web. At the time I had left my comment, I was convinced that I was being brilliant and insightful. In […]

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