Pi Attitude Zone: Connectivity & Drive

You Look Tweet In That Picture

What do we know about the Twitterati?  Well, for a start they seem to use Twitter for staying abreast of what’s going on in the world. Over half of Twitter users use the service as a conduit for news.

Which would make Twitter kind of a major news medium, right?

Actually not so much, since we now learn that only sixteen percent of Americans are hooked up to Twitter in the first place, according to the Pew Research Center.  With almost two-thirds of US citizens now on Facebook, the temptation was to assume that Twitter had similar numbers.  Not so.  The Twitterati are a narrow and rarified group compared to Facebookers.

Which makes them rather special.  They are clearly glued to their mobile devices in a big way, giver their high frequency of tweeting, and they also tend to be better-educated than the national norm.  Twitter’s base currency, after all, is... well... words.  Other social media seem to have bypassed verbiage altogether, and gone straight to pictures and videos. 

So Twitter-users are different.  It’s actually remarkable that a comparatively small minority has succeeded in exerting such a powerful influence on media, culture and commentary.  It’s not just the Tweets themselves – it’s tweets about tweets, comments about tweets, articles about tweets, commentary on articles about tweets, tweets about commentary about articles about tweets... okay, well, you get the idea.

So how is Twitter to grow from here?  It seems likely that the platform has already mopped up pretty much all the word-freaks, info-junkies and news-addicts it’s ever going to get. 

The answer, Twitter’s guiding lights have decided, is to move into television.  Forbes magazine has explained all in a cover story titled How Twitter Will Save TV – And TV Will Save Twitter.

The company”, we read, is “keen to position itself among its users – and potential users – as a TV companion, an indispensable tool to keep up with, discuss and even influence the outcomes of [TV] shows and live events like sporting contests and political debates”.

So where’s the money in that?  The life-blood of social media is commercial communication, aka advertising.  If your potential paying advertisers are having doubts about sponsoring raw tweet traffic, what better way to get ankle-deep in a river of ad money than to hook up with the mother of advertising media, the boob tube?

The irony, however, is that TV is driven by pictures and videos, not just words.

Pi says:  watch out for a culture change at Twitter as it goes for growth.  The new ‘word’ is... pictures.

Zone: Connectivity & Drive Country: USA / North America Product – Communications