Twitter Is Peaking; Get Ready to Follow The Geeks Onward

Steve Rubel on Digital Communications

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I have been an active Twitter user since January 2007. And it's been remarkable just how much it has changed since, particularly as it went nuclear.

However, it's also important to see the big picture. No community has ever had staying power more than a few years. So, with that, here are three reasons why I see Twitter peaking now.

Steve Rubel
Photo: JC Bourcart
Steve Rubel is a marketing strategist and blogger. He is senior VP in Edelman's Me2Revolution practice.
CELEBRITIES: Just six months ago, the list of the top 100 users on Twitter read like a who's who of geeks. That's what made it a draw, initially. Now, however, the list looks like People or US Magazine. Twitter may lose its geek cred as celebs flock to the service.

Historically, as the geeks go, so goes social media. I believe that the Founding Fathers and Mothers of Twitter will soon tire of it and seek the next shiny object.

DISORGANIZATION: Twitter attracted a following because it's disorganized. Since replies are not threaded, celebs and corporations do not feel they have to respond to every tweet. It's a tree-in-the-forest thing. There are no comments to moderate. And this makes it more attractive than blogging.

However, what was once "a feature" could begin to be seen as "a bug" and lead us to seek more organization.

SUPERFICIALITY: Brevity rules on Twitter. And this has encouraged time-starved celebrities and corporate types to jump into Twitter much more so than blogging. It also supports anonymity. You can be "a corporation" on Twitter, which you really can't do with a blog.

However, as Twitter grows and people begin to crave reading tweets from personalities and others they trust, I wonder if they will want a deeper relationship -- one with less anonymity.

So you heard it here first, folks. Twitter is peaking. I believe it can get through "the dip" that stares it in the face by: keeping its core users intact, remaining attractive to corporations and celebs and by becoming more organized. Time will tell if the team can overcome the "innovator's dilemma." The history of online communities says "no."

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