Twitter has continued to grow but is considered by many to be “short bursts of inconsequential information” despite passing 165 million users recently.
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Twitter’s serious side becomes evident especially in breaking and spreading news in real time as well as being able to search tweets and information on Twitter in the Web information stream.
A friend I met recently says she uses it for watching political debates unfold and explode due to her past life as a political journalist. This keeps her engaged and intrigued in the industry despite having taken some time out recently.
Another driver for Twitters continuing popularity is that it taps into people’s “FOMO” (Fear Of Missing Out) that keeps dragging them back to the screen and keeps tempting them to keep viewing and engaging.
The “Advanced” searches on Twitter that a lot of people are not aware of can make that Twitter news stream localized so that you can see what is happening in real time within your local community city or region.
Advanced Twitter search provides filters for the following categories to refine search in more detail.
Of course you can create lists that you can put into Tweetdeck or other applications like Hootsuite that can show you streams of news within groups and industries. I use this feature to keep me up to date on the latest social media news and trends as people spread the latest links.
A Chikita Network Study has revealed the top 6 categories for content on Twitter that people are using on one of the fastest growing social media channels on the net are:
- News which is by far the largest category of information with nearly 50%,
- Other at 23% (maybe that is the inconsequential twit bits of information).
- Technology 10%
- Celebrity 10%
- Movies 6%
- How To (DIY) 4%
The real power in Twitter is as an immediate news channel providing news and updates in your niche as it happens. The study showing it is used by nearly 50% of people for news indicates its continuing prominence in real time web.
The fact that Twitter is now integrated into Google search as an “update” stream has validated Twitter in the search space and has been implemented by Google by connecting into the Twitter API through an undisclosed commercial arrangement.
The naming of this as “updates” instead of Tweets indicates that Google is having some trouble acknowledging that Twitter is the source and still considers Twitter as a young upstart.
Here is a screen shot of my Tweets and ReTweets in a time stream via a Google “Updates” feature.
So where will Twitter be in 5 years or the next decade?
If you want to find out more, check out “30 Predictions For The Future Of Twitter“.
Image by by A Hermida