As an avid lover of the social media platform Twitter my fascination stems from the social nature of the media platform. For those of you who unaware or blatantly ignoring the social media, Twitter is an online social media platform that allows users to aggregate, discuss and share news/entertainment and basically any content through a user name identity, using 140 characters or less. From posting tweets about your thoughts on your latest album purchase, to discovering vital information and statistics about the recent government elections, Twitter has all bases covered.
The success of the platform lies in how content is aggregated and filtered by the actions of its audience. Although each separate tweet may seem irrelevant to the discussion, Johnson (Time, 2009) believes that Injecting Twitter into the conversation fundamentally changed the rules of engagement. Users are given the power of social networks, live searching and link sharing which enables the processing of information and ideas at a much faster rate than that of Google’s searching abilities. As technologies continue to push the boundaries of social interaction, the question raised by convergence experts is “Will Twitter Survive?”
With the company set to become a public offering in the near future, many are asking how much growth and space does the platform have to offer? Looking back at the history of the platform may just provide the answer to this question.
From the early onset of the birth of Twitter users have been shaping and redefining the platforms role in society. From creating conversations by using the ‘@’ symbol throughout tweets, to aggregating discussion by using hash-tags (#) user involvement and creativity has spawned the dynamic platform we all use today.
Industry experts believe that the future success of Twitter lies within the advertising revenue it can produce as it moves from a niche to mainstream media outlet. With over 250 million active users, Twitter has fast become one of the world’s leading data collectors. Using the social media business model (you’re not the customer, you’re the product) the platform has essentially turned the art of socialising online into a multi billion dollar advertising aggregation machine.
As with many social media platforms the success of the product isn’t measured by the opportunities of social interaction, it measured on power, wealth and greed.
As powerful as social media platforms are in destabilising corrupt governments and changing political landscapes it seems as though the only true measure of the success and future of social media lies within how much information they can extract from our day-to-day conversations. An interesting thought to reflect on next time you are browsing your Twitter feed.
Johnson, S. (2009). How Twitter Will Change the Way We Live, Moodle Database, accessed 18th September 2013, https://moodle.uowplatform.edu.au/pluginfile.php/94787/mod_resource/content/1/Johnson%20-%20How%20twitter%20will%20change.pdf
2nd Year Media & Communication & Commerce Student @UOW
Majoring in Digital Communication & Marketing