Twitter at a Crossroads: Audience Growth Won't Be Enough in 2010

Plus Other Predictions From Forrester

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Forrester has just published our interactive marketing predictions for 2010:

  • Companies' use of social councils will attain budgets and power.
  • Listening-platform insights will go mainstream.
  • Marketers will focus less on fuzzy social-media metrics and more on real marketing metrics.
  • Twitter will become profitable or get acquired.
  • Facebook will get more hands-on to protect users' -- and its own -- interests.
  • Incompatible mobile devices and siloed social applications will shatter the social experience.

If there is one overarching theme, it's that social technology is now a mainstream part of what marketers do. Social media getting budgets, listening platforms like Nielsen BuzzMetrics and Radian6 becoming standard, and a focus on metrics that matter to marketers are signs of this shift.

I'd also like to draw attention to the Twitter prediction. Twitter has been fiddling around and growing like mad but without a business model for years now. In 2010, growth is not sufficient. One of two things will happen. Either Twitter will have a business generating $100 million at an annualized rate by the end of 2010, or it's going to get bought by the likes of Google, Facebook or Microsoft. I don't believe it can continue as a huge force that has no visible means of support. Do you?

Josh Bernoff is co-author of "Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies," a comprehensive analysis of corporate strategy for dealing with social technologies such as blogs, social networks and wikis, and is a VP-principal analyst at Forrester Research. He blogs at
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