Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Here's a little tweet

Twitter suddenly seems to be everywhere in the UK. Stephen Fry is on it and so are lots of other celebrities.

What's going on? Could it be a Tipping Point and that's why Twitter has suddenly taken off here?

I don't think so. News volume in the UK about Twitter jumped at the start of 2008, when Britney Spears (among others) had her account hacked. On this Trends chart, Google have helpfully labelled that point 'E'.

If the picture's a bit small, number of Google searches is the top line and number of news stories is the bottom one.

The next point to the right of my artfully drawn black line is the week that a photo was posted on Twitter of an aeroplane down in the Hudson River.

My theory is that the mainstream UK media has just noticed Twitter on the back of a Heat magazine style Britney Spears story and getting a free front page photo of a sinking aeroplane. There's no such thing as bad publicity, right?

Where it goes from here I'm not sure, but would be willing to bet that Twitter gets taken over in the next year or so and then integrated into a larger product. It's a fun toy, but doesn't have enough of an offering to support itself through ads or - God fobid - charge users for the service. Look for Google trying to give Open Social a kick start.

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