November 16, 2009
It seems the hot Twitter news these days is that the service might be slowing in U.S. traffic growth. More importantly, is Twitter continuing to creep closer to FriendFeed's feature set?You can read the Twitter stats story on Mashable and TheNextWeb. Earlier in the week the big news was the on and off status of the new "retweet architecture system". Twitter turned it on for many users (I was not one of them) but then turned it off so they could fix some bugs.
Apparently there are two camps when it comes to the new retweets...one camp likes the consolidated concept and the other camp hates it because they can't add their 2-cents to the conversation. My guess is that 90% of re-sharing on Twitter is either direct sharing of something Mashable posted or the addition of "lol". This past summer I wrote about how Friendfeed could generate massive income and also reach the mainstream. Sadly that never happened because Friendfeed sold out to Facebook. While it looks like Facebook wasn't reading, this morning I started to think that perhaps Twitter was. What really got me thinking was something I read on Patricia Handschiegel's blog. While she discusses the way Twitter defined their service in the beginning, she uses the word forum throughout the column. Could Twitter be moving towards "threaded conversations" similar to what a forum offers? We know that the new retweet functionality will keep everyone's "like" below the master/initial comment. We also know users want a way to add their own thoughts to the initial comment. Could the threaded conversation mechanism be a way to please both groups? Just like what any forum offers today. And just like the way Friendfeed and Facebook handle the conversation today. All of this leads me back to the dip in usage. Forums are very sticky because the conversation is centralized and everyone wants "in". As I've written about until my fingers fall off, the conversation is currently so fragmented on Twitter. If Twitter continues to move towards full-Friendfeed, it could mean increased usage.
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