Twitter-Bubble: will twitter survive?
There has been an increasing number of what is called to be the next generation website; allowing people to connect with each other, accessing information that was previously impossible to access, providing new ways of empowering individuals to produce and collaborate. Friedman accurately describe this type of website to be one of the world's flattener. People no longer simply download information down the wires. We contribute back, feeding a rapid feedback loop of sharing, regurgitating and building on top of each others ideas and invention. Twitter is definitely one of them.
Recently, there's been a growing speculation that Twitter could just be the next big thing. Its simplicity followed by a deep philosophy fits into the mold of Google's success. It is focused on what it does best and giving access to information that may have never been accessible before (at least easily). The website allows its users to share what they observe around the world in less than 140 characters. Twitterers are describing what they are having for breakfast to on-the-spot report of groundbreaking natural disaster.
What was known to be a popular medium for just geeks, Twitter now have gone mainstream. From companies to celebrities, from engineers to artists, from the myspace to the newsgroup generation. Twitter hits hard. Each one tries to market their product and/or themselves by getting rid of the 'friction', media and its mass. It's a new medium where vendor can give what seems to be a personalized advertising service without appearing intrusive.
Anyone would agree that to survive, a business must have a strong business model. Google have successfully convinced that it is possible to build a healthy company by simply providing quality service to its users. Doing so gives Google the position to earn revenues by simply guiding advertisers to find the right people to target their product and service to, and eventually guide these people back to them.
Now the question is; is there a large enough pie for everyone, for companies like Twitter, even Facebook? Twitter isn't alone, websites like; identi.ca, plurk, brightkite , yammer and many others are competing on the same exact space (some even try to take a safer bet of putting the eggs into alll the available baskets: hellotxt.com ). Yet there are many more indirect competitor from what's known to be web 2.0 sites (see go2web20 for an extensive list ). All these websites are competing being the next lean-do/good-profit/making-advertising-machine.
Todd Dagres, a venture capitalist as interviewed by the Wall Street Journal Online (Is 'Web 2.0' another bubble? ) stated that companies like these are bubbles waiting to burst. He argued that these companies are getting too much funding compared to what they're really worth. Secondly, they won't be able to sustain competitive edge for a long time as most of them offer little technological innovation (despite their -arguable- impact in shaping our social landscape). And last but not least the fact that these companies have very low liquidity.
I love Twitter and I hope they'll survive. It's just that companies have to stop thinking about online advertising as the only possible revenue generation.
Actually, I believe that Twitter is here to stay.
It's already gone mainstream. For some people it has already been replacing email, IM, RSS Reader, etc.
No, it will survive, I'm sure of it :)
As per usual, those technologically minded come out with a great idea which is eventually adapted into a form appreciable by the masses.
Unfortunately it then becomes a great marketing tool, and the more commercialised an idea becomes, the more the users will resent it.
In the global marketplace i think two deciding factors help decide the fate of a social-networking company:
a) providing a unique service;
b) having the largest user base
In these regards Twitter certainly has the numbers, if it can keep them, however i think it will need to innovate more to survive.
In some ways i see it as a precursor, it had a great idea but now it's being adapted for too many purposes. Perhaps it's purpose is just to move on to something better.
I'd say it has to do more with evolution and growth. I agree with the two factors however they are different in nature. The first one is much more dynamic and has to be agile enough to not to be imitated that rapidly while the second factor follows a more linear (and hopefully exponencial) growth.
A great idea comes with a very good factor a) and perhaps a limited factor b). The next step the for the company is to boost b) without neglecting a), which is naturally inevitable (other will try to jump to the same bus).
Twitter's got its market and people driving the company should think more in how to keep a) as a comparative advantage without breaking the core or essence of the idea apart, otherwise b) could be jeopardised.
On top of this is the way the company makes money (c). This junction between a), b) and c) has to be built very carefuly otherwise the growing tower can end up being just chunks of rubble.
Innovation, market and revenue... a smart balance is the key I suppose.
You know how when the dot com boom happens, everyone thinks that this internet thing will be a good media to based business on, it seems now there's that mentality again.
all website thinks they 'have' to be an online advertising outlet. Just not sure if there's a big enough market for everyone.
[...] only concern is the same (will Twitter survive?): it seems everyone on the web tries to make money off advertising. Is this the only viable method [...]