Twitter: From the Margins to Mainstream

picture-38I was asked on a call yesterday: What’s the most interesting thing that’s going on right now? With that question, my mind typically goes instantly blank. There’s always interesting stuff going on in lots of different arenas. But if I had to name one thing, Twitter is probably it.

In a matter of months, amazingly, the site/service has gone from being a “time waster” in search of a business model to the hottest marketing platform around.

I was on BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) this weekend taking my 9-year-old daughter to see Wicked (recommend) and saw a poster to follow BART on Twitter. I was amazed that a public transit agency was using Twitter. To me this symbolized the mainstream arrival of Twitter. Very quickly brands, retailers and marketers of all stripes are adopting Twitter. And all of this has happened in months.

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Saleforce announced yesterday it was integrating Twitter for customer support queries. And Federated Media has built a Twitter-powered site called “ExecTweets” featuring theoretically influential individuals. This is the first overt money making effort for Twitter (built by Federated Media and sponsored by Microsoft). We’re also likely to see text advertising appear on Twitter in the not-to-distant future.

The growth and adoption of Twitter may be unprecedented. Google, YouTube, Facebook . . . Twitter. It’s on the cusp of “verb status.” The question now isĀ  . . . who will be the lucky buyer? And will it be more or less than $1B?

If I were sitting in Redmond, I would say to myself, “We can pick up Twitter for cash for a fraction of what it would cost to buy Facebook” and it’s arguably a more effective marketing platform.

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7 Responses to “Twitter: From the Margins to Mainstream”

  1. Tim Cohn Says:

    Maybe they can trade their Facebook stock.

  2. Jeff Says:

    It’s really exciting to see the innovation and the uses that are organically being created by a whole slew of different types of companies/organizations.

    On the takeover side, I’m pretty sure that any takeover bid would have to be north of $1B right now. Twitter is going to be rolling out some new functionality relatively soon that will improve the user experience dramatically. And even without it businesses and marketers are falling over themselves to try and figure out how to leverage the platform.

    In face, I think there’s a very good chance that in the next 12 – 18 months that Twitter will be worth more than Facebook. Wished that I could put that spread trade on.

  3. Matt McGee Says:

    Greg, check out the WA Dept. of Transportation on Twitter:

    http://twitter.com/wsdot

    (They also blog, use Flickr, and more…)

  4. Greg Sterling Says:

    Amazing. Must be some sophisticated individuals in the Dept.

  5. Joe Mescher Says:

    Notice how major newspapers are using Twitter to generate buzz and attract new readers?

    Chicago Tribune went so far as to replace email/phone contact info on the front page of their site with Twitter ID’s for publisher, top staff.

    Exciting how “Regular Joe’s” can command huge followings just by providing relevant content (in any niche interest). This should tell the print media something about their readers taste for on-demand info.

    Looking for the day when my local news site (The Burlington Free Press) posts a Twitter stream on the sidebar of their homepage.

  6. Tim Cohn Says:

    Whoever controls Twitter will control the news.

  7. Coupons.com Now on Twitter « Screenwerk Says:

    [...] much to say about this except it’s going to be very effective distribution and may further “mainstream” Twitter. In fact, Twitter might become the “coupons destination” (or the place to tap into [...]

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