Twitter Me This, Twitter Me That

    March 21, 2007

The blogosphere has exploded in the last two weeks over this new social phenomenon we’ve come to know as Twitter. While the buzz has certainly picked up concerning the service, statistics show that Twitter still has quite a ways to go to be considered a mainstream force in the online social scene.

Seemingly out of nowhere, Twitter has become an overnight sensation. Bloggers worldwide are touting the service as the “next big thing” and are falling all over themselves to churn out as many Twitter updates as possible to help build up a massive network of friends and followers.

Take, for instance, blogging celebrity Robert Scoble. Known for his notoriously long blog posts (and even notoriously longer videos), Scoble has been all over Twitter, despite the fact that the service limits entries to 140 characters or less. Perhaps a leopard can change his spots after all.

Everyone’s favorite Entrepreneur in Action, Jason Calacanis, has also embraced the Twitter phenomenon. Now everyone can get instant updates whenever Jason has a new idea about how to make the Internet a better place for everyone, or how he can single-handedly turn Wikipedia into a moneymaking machine.

But just now quickly is Twitter catching on?

Heather Hopkins of Hitwise UK shares some initial thoughts:

After hearing the chorus of tweets about Twitter in the UK blogging community, I had looked at Twitter data on Hitwise a few weeks ago. I chose not to blog it then, as our data shows that whilst Twitter is growing, it is still a niche website.

Hitwise’s LeeAnn Prescott continues the discussion with some statistics of her own:

It ranked 41,100 among all sites and 1,412 out of the 4,867 sites in the Net Communities & Chat category, which shows just how far it has to go to reach mass adoption (although the true measure of its success will be mobile usage, not just web usage). The average session time for Twitter was 8 minutes 56 seconds, showing that the website is engaging its users. We will definitely keep an eye on on this one.

So it’s accurate to assert that Twitter is growing rapidly, but it’s equally as accurate to say that the service still has a mountain ahead of it to climb in order to position itself as a bigtime player in the social landscape. Mobile adoption will be key for the vitality of Twitter in the long-term.