As my four year twitter-versy just came and went, I can’t help but think of how my usage on the social media site has changed since I joined on September 11, 2008.
Like many, I started out as a total skeptic. I thought there was no way people were going to jump on board. What the hell was I supposed to say in short, 140 character bursts? My life isn’t that interesting. Nobody is going to care what sandwich I had for lunch.
Because of that, I rarely tweeted at the beginning, but I was on there consuming news.
Then, I discovered Twitter chats- especially #journchat and #u30pro. I realized the power of the connections I could build online.
Since then, I have met so many awesome people through the site. It helped me land my current job as well as my first job out of college. To say, Twitter has changed my life would be an understatement.
But I can’t help to think about Twitter’s future. It’s becoming more closed off. With more API restrictions, developers are now limited on how they can use and access Twitter’s data for third party sites and apps. For instance, Twitter publicly cutting off Instagram and Tumblr.
Twitter has also developed an elaborate advertising platform, with promoted tweets and trending topics.
Twitter is now advertising themselves on TV during primetime big events, such as during the Olympics and Super Bowl. And, they are creating lucrative media partnerships, including with NBC for Olympics coverage.
Of the 15% of Americans, who now use Twitter, only 8% of them are on it daily, according to a Pew Internet Study. Twitter continues to aggressively pursue the mainstream users. Many of which consume info, but rarely, if ever, tweet.
I have to wonder if all these efforts to appeal to the mainstream audience will end up killing its appeal with it’s power users. I’m admittedly a power user, along with many of the folks who I tweet with. I rarely hop on Twitter.com, barely spend anytime looking at trending topics and could care less about many of the primetime shows Twitter is courting. I am on the site to have conversations and follow news in real time.
As twitter adds more and more features, continues to encourage people to use Twitter.com, and restricts it’s API usage feature, will this deter power users? We’ll have to wait and see.