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Will Twitter Last?

The latest data suggests traffic to Twitter is on the decline.  I think measuring the site, misses the point and I think traffic is simply “shifting” to other applications (since Twitter has worked itself into so many apps).  I for one, rarely use the site anymore, I use TweetDeck from my computer, I use Yoono from my browser, and I use TweetMyFace or TweetDeck from my iPhone.  The above eMarketer study misses the point… That said, future data that does show the decline of Twitter (or at least the cost of running it growing faster than any future revenues) might just eventually present itself in the not too distant future.

I’m a tech maven, I get all the latest gadgets, try all the latest sites, and if there’s something people are talking about I try it.  If I don’t like it but the buzz is still building, I force myself to try it some more, keep at it, and stay with it until I too can drink the Kool Aid and stare long enough into the 3D picture with blurred vision to see what it is that amazes everyone else.

As of today, I’ve posted 213  tweets, I follow 192 people, 168 people follow me (lots of them I don’t even know), which by most measures is a fairly active Twitterer.  But I’m still not sure I get it.  Furthermore, several bright people I know, who like me are really trying to understand the impact of Twitter, are also left scratching their heads and wondering how this company got a $1 Billion dollar valuation with no revenue model.  I can only surmise the value is in the “buzz” marketing (second to none) and in some future data stream/data mining play.  I think a lot of other people might figure out an advertising model that rides on Twitter’s stream, but for Twitter to do it itself, would probably be the beginning of the end.

I’m not convinced that Twitter will even be around in five years.  Don’t get me wrong, I think Twitter certainly has potential.  For what, I’m not sure… but lots of other companies in a better position (Facebook, Google, Salesforce, etc…) could out do them rather quickly.  I think they are just waiting to see what if any actual business model emerges before they waste their time doing so, and/or planning first and striking with force (and a model) later.

In this age of fast evolution and fast failures, I think it’s quite possible Twitter might end up as roadkill.  I can picture the little blue dead bird with X-ed out eyes and tire tracks on him now… it’s kind of sad really.   Can anyone come up with a good 140 character eulogy?

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