On 1/24, we conducted a poll asking whether Twitter will go mainstream. There was great response, and we received about 500 great opinions in total. We worked on condensing the insights received into 2 parts. This is the first part, where we explore why Twitter WILL go mainstream.
Will Twitter go mainstream? We asked, and you responded with great enthusiasm. 69% if you think it will in a couple of years, and 29% of you think it is unlikely or will be in a long time in coming, and the rest expressed ambivalence. In Part 1, we will cover the 7 main reasons why 69% of you folks are so optimistic, and we’ll cover the rest in Part 2.
Quick Poll Notes
1) Total of 500 comments were received. Full list here
2) Our user base hail from a diverse range of industries/ demographics
3) Compulsory reasons = Fewer entries but increased quality. =)
1) Mainstream Media Is Pushing Twitter into the Mainstream
You can run, but you can’t hide from all the atwittering in the mainstream!
This was probably the number one reason that you gave us- the heavy mainstream media reports Twitter was getting, the intense coverage at the important events (Election, Inauguration, Mumbai), the multitude of celebrities (or their managers) on Twitter were pushing the mainstream audience into being consciousness of what Twitter is.
2) Stunning Growth Momentum – Nothing speaks like numbers
Despite having a relatively small user base, Twitter experienced an 974% increase of usage in Britain, and a stunning 16-fold growth in the U.S. since January. With growth numbers forecast to continue growing at breakneck pace, it is hard to deny the fact that Twitter will probably play an even bigger role in the social landscape for 2009.
3) Swiss Army Knife of Web Apps – One simple tool, infinite usages
As many users pointed out, maybe Twitter will go mainstream because well, it is useful. Website owners are integrating it into their sites in myriad of ways, while users are finding many different and unique uses for Twitter. Users are passionate about the Twitterverse’s ability to deliver breaking news, “attend” live events, and the general excellent level of knowledge sharing.
“Twitter is the Swiss Army Knife of Web Apps” – @monoclemonkey
4) 3rd Party Apps + Twitter = FB Status Updates on Steroids
“Twitter is focused on the most useful feature of Facebook, and 3rd party apps are increasing that usefulness exponentially. “
Very often people mention that Twitter is a subset of Facebook’s functionality. However, what we are hearing from our users is this: Twitter is focused on the most useful feature of Facebook, and 3rd party apps are increasing that usefulness exponentially.
This is the first time we are hearing it expressed with such clarity, so thanks everyone for all the comments which lead to this!
5) Diverse, Passionate and Intellectual User Base
“Everyone i know is using Twitter. If not, I get them to join ” -AceArtemis7
“Washing machines and plants are twittering about their status” – @iFloris
Probably Twitter’s most powerful asset that no other network in the world has is its sprawling and passionate user base. This was certainly a point elaborated by survey respondents again and again, as they marveled at the number of characters, and how passionate Twitter users are about spreading the service. Several users have also commented on how Twitter’s userbase is exceptionally good at sharing knowledge, and helping each other. Indeed, we think this is Twitter’s key asset indeed!
“Even cats use it (sockington and friends)” – @mislav
6) Unique Medium between Company and Customers
Many users pointed out how the fact that the companies getting on Twitter will in fact lead to an increase in incentive for their users to get onto Twitter as well.
Twitter is becoming an increasingly marketing tool for companies, ranging from e-commerce stores like Zappos, to huge chains like Starbucks, or local coffeeshops like Coffeegroundz.
Twitter has several key advantages over other social platforms- 1) Due to the conversational medium, consumers pay much more attention on Twitter (4% CTR) than ads on Facebook. 2) Due to the openness, it is also very easy to monitor in real time what people are saying about your brand. Example here.
As such, major brands are taking notice (see list here) and jumping into Twitter in a big way. If they utilize Twitter to serve their users the right way, there is no doubt that it will also increase the incentive for users to join, further driving it up mainstream!
“Companies can listen in real time, and use value adding messages to draw users, giving both the company and their consumers additional incentive to be on Twitter!”
7) Twitter Fills Basic Human Needs
Saving the more nuanced points for the last. Several users believe that Twitter will go mainstream simply because it fits in very well several of our basic human tendencies – the need to feel connected, the need for attention, a certain sense of narcissism, and a want to know in detail what it is like to be in touch with people we are in awe of, celebrities, politicians, business leaders alike. That is certainly true for anyone, mainstream or otherwise!
Summary – Do you agree?
@Neutel summarized it up the best, when he said: “My basis is Twitter’s usefulness, its ease of use (no need to build an entire website) its security, its networking capability, its format, its army of experienced evangelists, the high level of intellect of its early adopters, the number of apps it is spawning, the potential it has to do good globally as a dissemination point for information on an almost instantaneous basis. Also, because of human nature.“
There you go – the 7 main reasons why 69% of our users think that Twitter will go mainstream. Do you agree?
Part 2 will explain why does 29% of our users think that Twitter will not reach the average businessman or student. Stay tuned!