It's Not About Twitter

Twitter-logoThere was some hubbub a couple of weeks back about Twitter traffic hitting a rough patch.  This was explained away by several factors, e.g., the stats didn’t adequately account for the number of Twitter users who use 3rd party apps.

(For my part, I rarely visit and I am not unusual in that regard.)

Anyway: it doesn’t matter.

It’s not just about Twitter.  Whether Twitter has long-term viability is inconsequential to the Big Ideas either spawned or vigorously cultivated by Twitter’s success.



Open APIs spawning hundreds upon hundreds of fun, robust 3rd party apps — which, like the iPhone, creates an ecosystem (within an echo chamber) of brand advocates banging the drum for the master brand.

Citizen journalism.

Ad-hoc social activism.

Grassroots support (technical, emotional, etc.)

Twitter is going to be as impactful as “blogging” – writ smaller, cooler, faster, and more geographically relevant.

I’d provide links demonstrating all these points, but I barely had time to eke this out as it is.  Just thinking out loud, folks.  However, as always, I’m keen to hear your thoughts!

Posted on: December 2, 2009 at 1:49 pm By Todd Defren
34 Responses to “It's Not About Twitter”


  • Akash Sharma says:

    Small but powerful words up there, Most of us have been talking not only about twitter but all other social tools like crazy, Same goes for brands because they think that these tools are a combined strategy but the case is a lot different as these tools just play a role in the whole strategy thats it and the strategy still revolves around some basic things based on our interactions.

  • I have to agree with you, its not about Twitter or the tool, its about making valued contribution and engaging with people in a meaninful way. I see there being a rise in specific/niche social networking technology.

  • It’s a very good point, and echoes something I say to my anti-twitter students all the time — it’s not about the platform. Twitter could fold up tomorrow and something in the same conceptual vein would take over. So, while I don’t intrinsically care if those students are on twitter, I do care if they’re getting left behind the curve of communications tools. @garyalanmiller

  • hi Todd,
    Thanks for netting this out so succinctly. Why I believe Twitter works is it removes the barrier of sharing. With infinite time and people resources, we’d all like to be drafting extensive blog content and doing deep analysis, and then waxing about it. In the short term, there’s so much info to just share fast and impulsively. Twitter is a collection of micro nuggets that make us all understand the macro better.

  • Right you are Todd, it’s not about the tool, it’s about the connections, functionality and creativity it enables. It won’t matter in 5 years whether this is called Twitter or something else entirely – the way Twitter has allowed us to communicate will endure.

  • I can imagine some people would panic at the thought of Twitter disappearing lol.

    personally i think we’ll see a rise in the fortunes of Ning in the near future


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