The Evolution of Twitter: A Look Back At The Real-Time Killer App

I am still amazed at the one billion dollar valuation that twitter has been able to squeeze out of a service many say its nothing but hot air. It might very well be that twitter is not the future but the rough present of what’s to come in the real-time space. Whatever Twitter might be, it has turned businesses upside down and has opened a treasure chest of business and personal connections that otherwise they might have never been.

Thinking that maybe these milestones represent the evolution of Twitter from a user perspective, I decided to share them with you and would love to hear about your own milestones whatever these maybe. It is interesting to read these milestones from the users perspective so that you can get a better feel of what people are doing and what they are looking for on Twitter.Without further ado, here is my milestone timeline of Twitter.

Antonio Twitter Usage

Antonio Twitter Usage

Why did I join Twitter?

I once was also very skeptical of Twitter and never thought that I would ever need to use such a service. An awful after thought of Odeo, I thought when I saw the little marine blue link at the top of the Odeo homepage. I clicked. I signed up and tweeted and nothing happened and that was it. I stopped using twitter for about 5 to 6 months. I was too busy and submerged in the world of search engine marketing.  Never thought I would use it again.

Using Twitter

I went back to using Twitter after about five or six months since I signed up. Out of the blue 500 people where already following me. I had done nothing to deserve that but there they where. Waiting for me to engage and talk about anything and everything.

Using Twitter Heavily

I needed to get over the initial stalky feeling that I had while using Twitter. I couldn’t believe that everything and anything would be public if you chose to. I was at awe and marveled at the possibilities that a company would have in an environment like this. Unfortunately many companies have chosen to block access to external social networks according to a study by Robert Half Technology. What the study fails to mention is the usage of internal social networks and how widely spread they become.

Searching and Tweeting for Value

There was Twitter without top level internet bloggers (aka. Robert Scoble) and then there was Twitter after all major bloggers joined. It was a geeky place. Most conversations where around technology, web 2.0 and code. It was easy to keep up with the brightest minds in the business. Then it got diluted by celebrities and a user growth of over 1000%. Twitter continues to provide value but in a very different way by allowing you to build trust not only traffic.

While I agree that Twitter takes attention away from more mundane tasks for more traditional occupations, I also think that Twitter can increase engagement with customers. Finding value in Twitter can be tricky but it can certainly pay off. The channel is very different from what we’ve seen in blogs and search and that is the reason why it needs to be executed in a different way. Rules of web publishing cannot be applied to twitter or any other conversational channel.

For those of you interested in the evolution of twitter from a business perspective, here is a review by BusinessInsider about the milestones of Twitter.


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