[Air-L] Twitter Chirp Conference

Liz nwjerseyliz at yahoo.com
Thu Apr 15 13:13:37 PDT 2010

It was interesting to virtually attend yesterday's Twitter Chirp conference (videos archived at http://www.justin.tv/twitterchirp/all#r=ljm4GHc~) and hear how the company owners see Twitter...as a flow of information to be mined and not as a social network with all of the connections that have been created between users. 

Despite having 105 million accounts created by users, they didn't talk about people as much as information flow. The two pillars in their business plan are Promoted Tweets (ads appearing in Search) and Premium Corporate accounts (presumably with additional features & analytics). They do not view Twitter as interrelated circles of followers & following but as massive amounts of user-generated content that can be analyzed for insight into consumer behavior and opinion.

While it's expected that the company would try to make money, they took the "social" out of the Twitter experience and spoke as if using Twitter was like reading a newspaper or watching television with users responding to advertisers & companies with their thoughts & concerns. The value of conversations between users isn't the fact that people across the world are connecting but that information is generated & opinions expressed that might be of interest to third parties.

Hearing their "vision" of the platform won't make me discontinue using Twitter but it does show a disconnect between how the company sees this communication tool vs. what users are doing with it (organizing face to face meetups, giving to charity, continuing blog conversations, maintaining social ties with distant friends, connecting with strangers, etc.).

Liz Pullen
nwjerseyliz at yahoo.com

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