Monday, October 08, 2007

What's Twitter's Success? More answers for Jeff Jarvis

Jemima Kiss of MediaGuardian interviewed Ev Williams, Founder of Twitter, to understand its success. Williams explains that even his mother doesn't understand the tool! But, it's taken on a life of its own...

And Williams sold Blogger to Google. So, what's in store for Twitter? Google...or teaming up with others like where users can share ideas, comment on documents, or refer a friend to needy information at the right time?

What's Twitter?
Group Text Messaging or Micro-Blogging
How's the tool evolving?
It's in its infancy to become a functional, personal tool - "Users need a critical mass of friends, and then the real conversations begin."
What's the attraction?
"Dedicated users share ideas, ask questions, suggest meetings and post useful links and stories...charming details of day-to-day lives that would otherwise be lost."
What are these "shared ideas..." called?
How old is Twitter?
17 months
How many users Tweet?
What's Twitter's goal?
To grow the core service because of the practical benefits of socializing

Users can Tweet all friends to tell them what time they'll be at an event. Williams says that started using Twitter to inform followers of bargains before they sold out. Mainstream news sites use Twitter for automated distribution of links to news stories and TV channels like MTV are experimenting with giving stars their own Twitter channel during music video awards...a way of reaching fans. Other uses of Twitter? A real-time sports result tool for race results such as Nascar...

What lies ahead for Twitter's success?
  • The 140 character limit is an advantage in a time when we're bombarded by information
  • The development of a group feature for browsing users' history
  • The monetizing of the service with branded channels for companies like Woot

Exploring Twitter... Twit Wiki Communities...Williams concludes that, "Rather than attach advertising to a personal communication channel, we want to make it a benefit so that there are people or entities you want to follow. We think those things have potential, so as the userbase grows we'll flesh out which of those things work and the business model and revenue will fit in."

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