Where Twitter Is Going


Thursday, 29 January 2009 at 3:00 am Pacific USA Time.

Lots of people are blogging (and tweeting) about where Twitter is going, how will they monetise, etc… I'll throw my hat in the ring, and give you my predictions on Twitter.

  1. I predict that Twitter will be like "email." We have lots of apps that handle email, and we can email from various devices in various ways. So in a sense, I think Twitter will sort of become a protocol, sorta. :)
  2. Email can be free, but if you have your own domain, it's probably not free. I think Twitter will find ways to get people paying in, but I think they're more likely to come from licensing and API stuff than getting me to pay $5/month. I would pay $5/month, but I wouldn't want to pay Twitter AND pay people making applications. So I think it's more likely that Twitter will charge for API access, and we'll all pay for apps we like.
  3. For many years, eBay charged people to use their API. I think Twitter will do that, and I think they might be starting. So that may not be a prediction. :)
  4. Because Twitter can go through mobile phones and text messaging systems, I think it will get linked more to eCommerce. I mean buying something more immediately and more easily, possibly even bypassing traditional shopping carts.
  5. Applications will have to consolidate or just do more. Right now, I have a mobile Twitter app (PockeTwit), Twirl (desktop client), twitterfeed for sending feeds to my accounts, qwitter if I care who stopped following me, MrTweet to suggest people I should consider following, and there was some other app I was playing with that let you schedule tweets. People use apps like Brightkite and Loopt to map themselves and try to find friends nearby. Plus some people use autogreeters and things like that. We have hashtags, and we have searching tweets for things we're interested in or people we may want to get to know. This is getting cumbersome, so I predict that systems will merge/consolidate, or just do more. And they'll have to do more if we're starting to pay for these apps (because they're being charged for the API).
  6. People will find better ways to use Twitter. Right now, I rarely follow people because I want to make sure I can keep up with the updates, interact with people, and have them know I'm reading and paying attention. To me, it doesn't make sense to follow hundreds or thousands of people. It would be like signing up to 100 email mailing lists, and then not being able to make time or headspace to read it all. 
  7. Part of using it better might be using multiple accounts based on what you like to write about. I use 4 Twitter accounts. Twirl and PockeTwit help me easily manage them all from one app, which is very helpful. 
  8. Organisations will find better ways to use Twitter. At this point, many people no longer take the time to read blog posts, and people will either choose to not read emails, or those emails may get discarded as spam. With email and blogs not reaching people they way they used to, I think Twitter can rise up as a way that towns can tell people there is a snow emergency and not to park on the even side of the street. It's an easy way to quickly tell a large group of people something important.

I believe the Twitter thing is something I think will become more of a major platform rather than "just an app I use." I think it can be monetised, and I think applications will make it even better with more features. Those are my predictions. You may disagree! Where do you think Twitter is going?


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Categories: Just An Observation

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