Twitter Heading Towards the Trough of Disillusionment?April 15th, 2009
Author: John Ratcliffe-Lee
While Twitter basks in the glow of a huge, front-page NYT Biz section article – are the villagers gathering, getting ready to “storm the castle”? John Brissenden points to an interesting post by Andrew Davis @ TippingPoint Labs about Tumblr being the heir-apparent to all the buzz that got Twitter rolling off your parent’s tounges in the first place.
Mmmm, hockey sticks!
- A quick search on Google Trends for the phrase “Twitter Sucks” shows a HUGE spike starting in February of this year (10X more searches in March than in February.)
- The recent explosion of a ‘vrial video’ about a fictional new nano-blogging site called Flutter has almost half a million views in the last week. (Or this video from a month ago with over 1.5 MM views.)
- Last week, Twitter users were hit with the first ‘Twitter Spam Hack Attack.‘
- People are quickly realizing that the more people you follow the less value you get out of the people you follow. I call this the Diminishing Tweet Value Theorem, which states that the value of your own twitter stream is inversely proportional to the number of people you follow.
- The mainstream media has grasped a firm hold on pushing their @ user names (a sure sign it’s nearing the top of it’s escalation phase.)
- Rumors are rampant about a potential Google acquisition and the debate about how exactly to monetize Twitter continues to escalate (another sure sign it’s heading towards the monetization phase of the Tippingpoint Labs New Media Life Cycle.)
While he admits that the evidence cited above is “fairly circumstansial,” taking a look at Gartner’s hype cycle below – it lines up with the general early adopter consensus I’ve seen going around the web and even in conversations with colleagues at MWW. They’re conviced of some shark jumping going on when they get follow requests from their parents.
So, is Tumblr really next? I think it’s too early to tell. I have it run jratlee.com but while Andrew goes over some great background of the service in his post and looks at some interesting adoption rates (definitely click-through, it’s a great read) – Tumblr can be a lot of things to different people.
Twitter hit the scene by being one thing and having a concise purpose. Although, being so concise might be what is taking Twitter towards the “trough” to begin with. Andrew makes a great point towards the end of his post:
If Twitter is a babbling four year old, going on and on about nothing important, Tumblr is a smart yound adult digesting content, commenting on it and contextualizing it for their audience. That’s far more valuable.
Only time will tell on this one.
UPDATE: Sarah Lacy joins the party, calling foul. Her points make sense from a company existence but, sometimes, I wish TechCrunch would just think a bit more about how people actually use these tools instead of just the dollars and cents.