Why Twitter has not jumped the shark

Has Twitter jumped the shark? (iStock)If I had a nickel for everytime someone asked me What is hot right now? I’d be twittering off my yacht in the Côte d’Azur.

In a recent meeting with some of my fellow digerati we were pitching ideas to get a client excited about  what new’s in the media landscape and all of them declared, Twitter is dead…it’s over. But I think there’s plenty of life left in our friend Twitter.

We are at an interesting crossroads with Twitter, Facebook and a lot of other overly hyped platforms. In many cases, it’s not about the solution itself but about how people are leveraging the data and behavior surrounding that platform and hence, their API’s (application programming interfaces – see my recent article on using APIs for content delivery).

There are hundreds of Twitter applications out there with more being built everyday that are powered by the data engine that is Twitter.  Some of them are as simple as helping you find other people who are like minded (twitslikeme) or leveraging Twitter search (search.twitter.com) to monitor  your brand or  even finding the hottest viral videos (Twitmatic).   Techcrunch and other digitrati watering holes are forever publishing the latest list of the hottest apps (see TechCrunch’s Top Ten Twitter Apps).

Some specific brand plays include Microsoft providing value to the business vertical with exectweets.com (find and follow top business execs on Twitter) or for event promotion with Volvo using Twitter to promote their auto show.

Here is really where the meat is…analyzing that data and applying it in a smart and strategic way that provides a new service, new information and potentially new revenue opportunities.

Now keep in mind, the other “data” fueling the Twitter-value debate is recent research from Harvard that states that the “top 10% of prolific Twitter users accounted for over 90% of tweets.” So only a few of us are tweeting but a lot of us are reading.  This parallels previous user-gen statistics where it’s a small fraction submitting the content, but a large fraction consuming.

We don’t think this is a bad thing…it’s a new channel and it’s gaining traction and traction means eyeballs.  Just like broadcast television, most of us are watching, not writing the Emmy winning shows.