In a recent Vanity Fair article James Wolcott is discussing if Twitter has peaked or not. In the funny and well written (this is after all Vanity Fair) Wolcott runs through a number of Twitter mishaps. I would argue that the mere fact that the subject makes it the pages of Vanity Fair is proof that – yes, Twitter has peaked. But I’d also say that all is not lost, it has become an everyday, important and integral part of our communications tool kit.
Wolcott makes a number of interesting points though, like how the number of followers actually might mean nothing as they apparently can be boosted automatically. (Akin my favourite pet peeve the ridiculous #Klout.) Should that be the case, and unfortunately I don’t doubt it, Twitter certainly have a problem. And what more, this will instantly rub off on all its users i.e. us. Because how can we claim that we have an impact if the followers are machines or machine generated? Isn’t one of Twitter’s basic ideas that people communicate with people? What will it do to us as communicators? I can tell you one thing, it won’t do us any good and as for two-way communication, well it seems rather lost. And you can bet, if nothing else, that will be the only article our C-suit reads about Twitter and sooner than we wish are we are back in paper press release land and finely honed one-way messaging.
But it gets worse, Wolcott is speaking about a development that definitely could be sinister and the end of Twitter – the reports that Apple are considering buying a stake in Twitter or possibly all of it. If control-freak Apple buys a part of the company that has made its fortune on its users extrovert tendencies – I agree with Wolcott, we are in for a mass-departure from Twitter.
But until then, I’d like to hear from Twitter what they are doing to avoid this and to keep its reputation as an important communications tool. And I wonder what WE as users can do? Tweet about it?
Read Wolcott’s article here.