Do You Tweet – Or is Twitter Just a Passing Fad?

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Do you tweet?  I don’t.  I don’t have a reason why I don’t tweet; I just haven’t found a reason to tweet.  I did a little looking around on who tweets and this is what I found.

Approximately 64% of those who tweet are between 25 and 54 years of age.  20% are 55 and up; only 16% are under 25 years old.  Now I was always under the impression that young people (teenagers) started this type of fad.  I viewed twitter as a type of social networking.  I don’t think that is necessarily the case.  Teenagers use Facebook, MySpace, etc, for social networking.  To them social networking is keeping up with the most important aspect of their lives, their friends.  They want to interact, share photos, personal characteristics, and leave comments.  Twitter is less about socializing and more about an overall conversation and allowing the ‘public’ to follow along.  Teenagers really don’t have anything to say on twitter.  They primarily use twitter to follow celebrities.

So, who uses twitter?  A large part of those using twitter are businesses; be it individuals or a company, it is being driven by business with the intent of promoting their business, products or services.  In other words, twitter is more of an on-gong commercial than anything else.  Even those teenagers using twitter to follow celebrities is nothing more than a commercial promoting the celebrities business.  As it is said, “any promotion is good promotion.”  Keep yourself in front of the customer. 

Now really, who do you know wants to follow someone tweeting things like, “I am going to the grocery store to pick up some bread.”  No one is going to follow that for very long.  Everybody wants something.  They want to know what company is having a sale, what celebrity is making an appearance; they want to know something about what they are interested in.  And if someone is interested, someone is going to figure a way to promote and profit. 

So, if we TIVO television shows so we can skip the commercials, how long are we going to invite commercials onto our phones and PDAs?  To me twitter is more of a promotional tool than social media.  The retention rate of twitter users is bouncing between 30% to 40% over the last few months.  That trend will not sustain twitter.  Twitter will need to find a better use beyond promotion.  Just my opinion.

Let me know yours.  Do you tweet, or is twitter just a passing fad?

—Marty Hudson

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