Depending on who you ask, Twitter’s announcement this week that it will launch an advertising model that features “promoted tweets” in search results is:
A. a much needed source of revenue to make Twitter financially viable
B. the beginning of the end for Twitter
Which one is it? There are strong opinions for each option. I subscribe to A. Twitter has to go beyond trendy and a channel for celebrity-crazed fans to follow their heroes and heroines. That next step is becoming profitable. The promoted tweets model is about as subtle of an integration of advertising that Twitter could implement.
I believe Twitter has a sound future, and it has nothing to do with its business model. The keys to Twitter’s long-term success are rooted in human nature. Here are three reasons why Twitter users will continue to chronicle their lives in 140 characters or less:
1. People like to talk about themselves – Whether it is sharing what is for lunch, bragging on family, or engaging in self-promotion, we enjoy being the focal point of conversation. Twitter is a digital megaphone for spreading the word on #1.
2. People like others to know what they are doing – Closely related to reason #1, many people want to share their life experiences with persons in their network. We can’t help ourselves; when we do something unique or exciting, we want to share it. If we see a move we’d rather forget, we want our followers to know that, too, in the hope we help someone avoid making the same mistake.
3. People are curious about other people – One way to manage our psyche is to use the experiences of others as a frame of reference. For example, if someone thinks he is an expert on fantasy football, he may follow known fantasy football experts and analysts via Twitter to keep tabs on what the top “brands” in fantasy football are saying. It could be a college freshman wanting to connect with an attractive co-ed from biology lab or a star-crossed celebrity watcher who can’t get enough tweets from Chad Ochocinco or Brittany Spears. In both cases, Twitter gives us a channel for answering that familiar question to the service’s users: What’s happening?
Ads or no ads, Twitter users will continue to keep tabs on the users they follow and tout their accomplishments - major, minor, and even the inconsequential.
Labels: Social Media, Twitter