Tuesday, April 29, 2008

So Wile E. Coyote tweeted Acme to let their latest gadget

Toward the end of "Read and Comment Day," I began reading a lot of stuff about how Twitter was about to grow. Or not.

First off, let's start by saying where Twitter is today. While there are a number of us obsessing over #twittouts, the truth is that hardly anyone in the United States is using Twitter.

Perhaps you've heard of Kara Swisher's informal survey, which indicated that not only are people not using Twitter, they don't know what Twitter is:

I asked a large group of people–about 30–and here is the grand total who knew what Twitter was: 0

And if you think Twitter's passe?

FriendFeed: 0

Compare this to, say, Facebook:

Facebook: Everyone I asked knew about it and about half had an account, although different people used it differently.

So, how long will it take for Twitter to get to Facebook-like levels of usage?

Well, we're certainly seeing small increases, even today. @kevinokeefe describes his experience with the Scoble Effect:

Sitting here blogging in a coffee shop on Bainbridge Island this afternoon when emails start pouring in saying folks have started following me on Twitter....Some of the followers I know, most I don't. They're from all over the world....

I was just thinking the last week that Twitter is a cool tool that I'm figuring out how to use. Then this.

So I 'tweet' that 'I am getting hit by 'spam followers,' has anyone had that happen to them?" Saad Kamai replied that 'Somebody recommended you in Twitter, so i guess its natural to get a couple of new 'followers.'

But these were existing Twitter users. When will new users join the service in astronomical proportions? Michael Arrington ventured an answer to this question when talking about Twitter's latest round of funding:

Valuations range from $60 million on the low end to more than $150 million on the high end. There is, clearly, a bit of salivating going on around Twitter.

One reason for all the attention: growth rates suggest that it is now just a matter of when, not if, Twitter usage will go mainstream. Twitter usage has “exploded” in the last couple of months, says our source (this is supported by Comscore, which shows total page view doubling from 10 to 20 million between February and March, although it is nearly impossible to guess at total Twitter usage since there are no many access points other than the Twitter website, via the API).

Ah, but when will Twitter explode beyond its current estimated customer base of a mere one million total users?

Bearing in mind my guess re Twitter's already-implemented monetization strategy (cited by Steven Hodson), Twitter can more easily obtain funding if it has 10 million or 20 million members than if it only has a mere one million tweeters.

But if Twitter usage doubles in the next couple of months, can the new employees keep the engine humming? And what about the two months after that?

Incidentally, there's another measure of Twitter's current status vis-a-vis the mainstream. The aforementioned post about Twitter's new hires has a grand total of five responses. (Check out the third comment, from @bblboy54.)

Sphere: Related Content
blog comments powered by Disqus