Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Twitter and why it's not just the whale that fails...

Ok, I've been feeling a bit negative towards Twitter as a social platform and wanted to jot some thoughts down as to why:
  • Too much noise, so much noise in fact that it is nearly impossible for any brand to cut through the clutter without spamming their followers.
  • If you want to follow more than 50 people (which most Tweeters do) then you are looking at about a tweet per minute showing up on your home page, meaning that any Tweet you make, rapidly becomes hidden in the myriad of other tweets.
  • The platform is so one-dimensional it's not funny. Ok, I know the web lends itself well to succinctness but what really can 140 words display about a product or service? It's like going back a hundred years to the joyous days of when advertisement artwork just lay with the copywriter. No colour, no images, not visual assault... I have a mental image of a black and white poster on some swinging saloon doors in the wild wild west!
  • If a brand wanted to appear professional then Twitter isn't the place. Do I really want to know when you are going to bed, going for lunch, getting a plane, enjoying your holiday (I'd suggest you gtf off Twitter if that's the case) or scratching your arse? No!
  • ^ All of these personal activity Tweets were once the forefront of Twitter's USP but now? Well now it's like some late 90's congested internet chat room.
  • It's simply a time-killer, after looking at the amount of time people spend Tweeting, I'm amazed that they can sustain it with other work related activities during their day. Other than personal fulfilment, what ROI is Twitter really offering? I know from my Tweeting experience that hardly anyone has clicked through to visit my blog but yes that's probably just me.
  • Without any internal filtering systems, it is really hard to find relevant Tweets. You can be really selective with who you follows by just having 10 or so really informative and inspirational Twitters but where is the fun in that. You won't understand half of the @ replies.
That's it for now but I'm sure there's another 10 or so inside of me.



  1. Kate, I like twitter as a Zeitgeist of conversations, albeit among early-adopters and tech-savvy people. For corporations, the key to twitter is not so much trying to follow or be followed, but using Twitter Search to see snapshots of brand sentiment.

    In fact, I'm going to blog about that right now :)

  2. I actually preferred Plurk during me brief use of it, given that conversations could be threaded, making them much easier to follow and contribute.

    But it never hit the mass I wanted, so back to Twitter I turned.

    Twitter, when you think about it, has a flawed design and even a flawed concept... yet no one is close to taking it on.

  3. great post. great view.

    but the people are there.

    they bothered to track you down.

    follow you.

    they are communicating.

    they actually bother to respond to Telstra's twitter... despite the quality of it's robotic responses.

    doesn't cost any $$ to set up an account.

    i'm still in a mix bag about twitter.

  4. Hello Kate. I agree with a lot of your observations here about Twitter. It is hard to follow too many people unless you keep your eyes on it every other minute. I still find it worth maintaining especially when throwing some plugs/valuable links out in the open - that you want to be recorded and trackback by search engine, aggregators, and the likes.

  5. Really interesting thoughts. Thanks.

    It's got me pondering. Not least because my employer, Jack Morton, has just started to Twitter.

    I think we (and any other corporate that chooses to collectively Twitter) have to be really careful to add value with every tweet through useful links and pithy insights. But quality control will surely be an issue. And it definitely can't be allowed to become a stream of unwelcome self-promotion.



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