Let's Stop The Drama...Twitter Isn't Dead
I love Twitter. It's my favorite social media platform. But just about every week someone is posting an article proclaiming that Twitter is dead. It's not dead and here's why.
The way I see it, Twitter is maturing. It's currently entering its adolescent phase, trying to learn how to navigate puberty (the rapidly changing social web) and all the challenges it brings (differentiating itself from its competition). And like any other teen, Twitter is trying to figure out who he/she is and how to best utilize its strengths. Like any other kid, Twitter is also wondering, should I be like the cool kids or just be my own unique social network?
Change of Use
No social media platform matures without growing pains. Facebook was thought to have been on its death bed because teens were leaving it for apps like Snapchat or WhatsApp. Facebook now has 1.4 billion users. So again, Twitter is dying. It's experiencing a change of use. Twitter users are maturing just like the social media platform. When I created my Twitter account in 2009, I was just hoping to interact with celebrities. None on my friends were on Twitter, we're in our 30's which means they were primarily Facebook users. By 2013, I was using Twitter to interact with other OWN channel viewers. Every Sunday, I would live tweet while watching Oprah's Super Soul Sunday. In 2014, I started to take Twitter seriously. I realized that it was a tool for making connections; not just with the rich and famous but business influencers who could help me grow professionally. If you map out your own Twitter history, I'm sure you'll find that it's not dissimilar to mine. Everything changes and goes through growing pains...companies, people, even social networks.
Now my rant isn't based on stats or research but my observations of user interaction on Twitter. Twitter is still the number one place to go for breaking news. Donald Trump and just about every other political candidate or celebrity knows it too. Want to know what's going on the world, you can't turn to Facebook but you can always find that information on Twitter.
Twitter is a hot bed for social activism. Many social issues get the attention it deserves because of Twitter. Some people downplay the power social activism has to create change. What social activist do on Twitter is successfully catapult an issue to a level where it gains so much attention, that its power and influence can't be ignored. As I type this, I'm watching the local news which has already mentioned trending Twitter topics three times, seven minutes into the program. And people like you and me get to contribute to the conversation too. Yes, some of the conversations can become nasty and contentious but when passionate people talk about issues that matter, this usually happens. It can bring out trolls, threats of violence and misogyny and that can be scary. Here's the good thing, these issues and discussions also bring out amazing and kindhearted people who only want to help contribute to the greater good. I wish everyone would stop giving the "mean tweeters" all the attention.
For professionals, businesses or entrepreneurs seeking to enhance their network, Twitter is the place for you. Yeah, a lot of professionals are on LinkedIn but real conversation occurs on Twitter. You have the ability to interact with other users in Twitter chats or just by commenting on their tweets. The highlight of my Twitter use has been interacting with influencers like Ted Rubin, Madalyn Sklar, Lolly Daskal and Pam Moore. When in history has it been this easy to interact with people whose work you admire?
Twitter isn't dead. It's going through growing pains right now due to its frequent changes in leadership. Change can be scary to those who feel powerless to influence its outcome. But not all change is bad or scary. Twitter is searching for its place in the social media environment, the same way the rest of us search to find where we fit in this great big world.
What do you think about Twitter's current state? Do you think Twitter is dead?