If success were measured by the number of followers (or users), then Twitter is undeniably a success.
Unfortunately, success in our world equates to the flow of cash and profit. In those, more realistic terms, Twitter is an utter failure. It does, however, keep good company with MySpace and FaceBook that have yet to show investors a return (an likely never will).
Before I explain what Twitter is, let me rant a bit about what Twitter is not.
Twitter is NOT social media. The term media applied to social implies a communications environment or channel that is expected to be tagged with commercial messages. Newspapers, television, magazines, radio, the internet are “media”. Social in not. Social environments can be traced back to the open air market, or agora, beyond 300 BC as merchants and buyers met to exchange information and goods.
We have, unfortunately, come to recognize today’s social environment(s) as a place where marketers can interfere in the communication process with a commercial message. Social Interference is the order of the day. And it is an arrogance that will eventually backfire on those that continue to play that game.
It has been reported that only ten percent of Twitter users generate ninety percent of the systems messages …. And those messages rarely solicit a response. Twitter is a one-way vehicle, pushing 140 character messages with little feedback. Twitter is simply an electronic Fax machine, pushing staccato (often meaningless) messages to as many as one million “followers” at once. Hardly a success.
Would YOU invest in Twitter? I would not, but I would certainly be part of the experience that drives new communications tools, win or lose.