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What if Twitter died?

By Jos
Feb 2, 2016
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  1. Scrolling through my Twitter feed, I had an interesting thought the other day. What if Twitter just didn’t exist anymore? Given all the recent troubles the company’s been going through, it’s no longer a completely unreasonable scenario.

    Yet, for many in the tech industry, I have to imagine that borders on the unthinkable. Not because the practical realities of the business fading aren’t a possibility, but because so much of their lives are caught up in the Twittersphere. For some, it would almost be like losing a leg—or worse. I mean, there are people and, indeed, entire companies whose very existence and value seems to be directly tied to their level of influence on Twitter—and not much else.

    To its credit, Twitter has managed to create more than just another social network. The micro-blogging service has morphed into something many people seem to have nearly built their life around. But for all of its attraction and pull, it can also be an incredibly addictive time suck that regularly draws people into minutes (or even hours) of distractions. Sometimes leading to useful discoveries but more often than not, feeling like a waste of time.

    To be fair, Twitter is an extremely valuable service for discovering news in real time, finding out what people have to say, and, as a writer, promoting what I and my friends and colleagues have written or participated in to a wider audience.

    But nearly ten years in, the service has also become a shouting gallery for “traditional” celebrities and a lot of people in the tech industry who somehow believe Twitter has made them celebrities.

    Harsh? Sure. Reality? I think so.

    If you aren’t into celebrities or the tech industry, Twitter just isn’t that appealing, especially given all the other options for online social interactions.

    In fact, this seems to be one of the fundamental problems of Twitter. It’s appealing to Hollywood, TV, music and sports celebrities as a means to interact more intimately with their fans and share the kinds of details they’d never provide to traditional celebrity media. It’s appealing to the tech industry as a mouthpiece for those who want to determine the course of what is or isn’t important. The digital taste-setters, so to speak.

    But for mainstream business and consumer users? Not so much. Arguably, this is the biggest problem with Twitter—it can’t seem to stretch beyond its celebrity, celebrity follower, and tech roots. If you aren’t into celebrities or the tech industry, Twitter just isn’t that appealing, especially given all the other options for online social interactions.

    Despite these points, I think the navel gazing value of Twitter to the tech industry is so high, I seriously doubt they’ll let Twitter actually die. Someone with enough money and enough self-interest will likely make sure that, no matter what, Twitter will continue in some shape or form. Eventually, it’s value may start to fade, as some have already started to argue, but at least the Twittersphere will have a few years to adapt and find new alternatives.

    The fundamental challenge is a publishing service that’s essentially based on self-promotion, self-aggrandizement, and self-importance at some point is going to run into the wall of indifference. Not everyone cares to read about what the self-elected are all doing all the time.

    Real time publishing, real time interactions, and real time discovery are all incredibly important capabilities, especially in today’s split second society. But there is an increasingly wide range of alternatives for people to leverage and it’s not entirely clear to me that Twitter has all the tools it needs to weather the current climate.

    As a reasonably long time, regular user of Twitter, I would be sad to see it go, but that doesn’t mean I can’t imagine life without it. I can and, increasingly, it seems many others are starting to see that potential too.

    Bob O’Donnell is the founder and chief analyst of TECHnalysis Research, LLC a technology consulting and market research firm. You can follow him on Twitter . This article was originally published on Tech.pinions. Header image: Bryce Durbin (via TechCrunch).

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,606   +287

    I wouldn't even notice if it went.
     
    psycros, Skidmarksdeluxe and Laf904 like this.
  3. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Evangelist Posts: 3,538   +2,336

    "But for mainstream business and consumer users? Not so much. Arguably, this is the biggest problem with Twitter—it can’t seem to stretch beyond its celebrity, celebrity follower, and tech roots. If you aren’t into celebrities or the tech industry, Twitter just isn’t that appealing, especially given all the other options for online social interactions."

    Provably false. Twitter is a valuable marketing tool for "mainstream" businesses when used properly.

    Mega corps like Coke-a-Cola or Walmart could stand to lose it. But in the hands of smaller entities who know what they're doing, it's a revenue generator. This is especially true of monetized blogs (see Danger and Play, Bold & Determined, etc.).
     
  4. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,181   +528

    I use twitter, but I like to use it to make friends and people to chat with. I avoid most celeb accounts since all they do is "Look at me!" and "My opinion is most important!". But I don't really use any other social media so I can't compare.

    If Twitter went bye bye, my only concern would be to figure out how to keep in touch with the people I like to talk to on twitter.

    An even crazier idea, what if Facebook dissappeared. XD
     
  5. lipe123

    lipe123 TS Evangelist Posts: 658   +174

    The only thing I ever use twitter for is to see real time event alerts for a game I play.

    Other than that its a useless dream someone tried to force upon the world with no real way to sustain itself it seems.
     
    psycros likes this.
  6. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,149   +1,424

    - did it? :)

    I'm becoming allergic to all forms of online socializing. Life is too short to spend it like that.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2016
    hnbp16 likes this.
  7. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 1,662   +769

    Who cares ....... I certainly could help reduce the number of auto accidents!
     
    wiyosaya and psycros like this.
  8. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,149   +1,424

    The less people - the less accidents ;)
     
  9. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,549   +2,894

    Twitter died? Ohh - "What if" - Thought I had something to celebrate about for a minute.
     
    ArdvarkMaster and wiyosaya like this.
  10. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,476   +2,034

    I wouldn't worry. There'll always be something bigger and better to fill the void.
     
  11. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,476   +2,034

    And to think I was recently called "callous" & "unfeeling" for making a similar crack.
     
  12. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,476   +2,034

    Me either, but my wife would have a seizure.
     
    Arris likes this.
  13. falonofthetower

    falonofthetower TS Rookie

    You do realize they have billions in cash on hand right? Like they might go the way of myspace and no one would care anymore. But the idea that twitter the company dies is just silly.
     
  14. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,319   +709

    Huh? You mention a dead company like Myspace and then say that can't possibly happen to Twitter, even though their on identical trajectories. Does not compute.
     
  15. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 908   +384

    If twitter died, it would help crap like the "hands up don't shoot" from taking off. Even after it was discovered that THE WHOLE THING WAS A LIE, people still believe it.
     
  16. Tekkaraiden

    Tekkaraiden TS Evangelist Posts: 991   +90

    I'm sure something similar would replace it.
     
  17. Don't use it never have never will IMHO twitter and facebook are responsible for the lack of social interaction
     
    Technician, learninmypc and wiyosaya like this.
  18. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,606   +287

    I've heard of this thing called "Real life". Meant to have really realistic graphics.
     
  19. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,476   +2,034

    And physics.
     
    Arris likes this.
  20. ninjagai

    ninjagai TS Rookie Posts: 26   +16

    You realize you just cited an article that smears #GamerGate with no understanding of what it's about right? Do you realize how incompetent that makes you? Of course not, this is a BS opinion piece made to get a click.
     
  21. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Evangelist Posts: 3,538   +2,336

    You do realize that 1/3 of the internet believes the following is true:

    As ridiculous and biased as the quote is, you don't help your case by screeching "incompetent clickbaiter!" at the first sight of a triggering passage.
     
    Arris likes this.
  22. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,035   +269

    Neither I nor my wife would notice! ;)
     
    Arris and Skidmarksdeluxe like this.
  23. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,476   +2,034

    I wouldn't loose a seconds sleep if it collapsed, the same goes for FB and other social networking sites. I simply have no use for them.
     
    wiyosaya likes this.
  24. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,549   +2,894

    I don't know! If it crashes wall street because they cant tweet about their every move, we might loose a little sleep. Remember the big guy at the top is the one that causes the biggest ripple.
     
  25. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,476   +2,034

    After the initial chaos things will settle down again. Remember, as the homo sapiens species, we adapt (or so I've been told).
     
    wiyosaya likes this.

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