Twitter Hype – When Enough Becomes Enough

How soon do you think it will be before Twitter becomes uncool? I’m serious. Every single day there is a new story in the mainstream press about the micro-blog. My mom told me that even the Today Show recently talked about tweeting and I’m sure many of you saw the hilarious Daily Show parody. (article continues below).

Now, I’m not complaining. The buzz is great. It is sending people to my door asking how they can get on Twitter and that is never a bad thing – especially when they understand that Twitter is merely one social media channel to be explored. But, (and I say this as a PR professional) we love to hype things until audiences prefer to gouge their own eyes out before hearing another word on the subject! This, I fear, is where Twitter is headed. Especially, when one considers how many people are now flocking to the site without the first clue how to use it.

Of course, some say the site still has a few more years of “new” to it. Greg Verdino recently blogged: We go to parties and, of course, we trade Twitter handles so we can keep in touch. Normal people don’t do this. Normal people avert their eyes when we mention Twitter during otherwise polite conversation. This isn’t just coming from me — recently, Twitter CEO Ev Williams stated that he doesn’t expect ‘real people’ to be on the service for another several years. And trust me: as soon as lots of so-called normal people flock to Twitter, the early adopters will be griping about how the service just isn’t the same anymore.

And, yeah – he’s right – as Greg always is. I was at a party just two weeks ago where the scenario he described happened. In fact, the party practically segregated itself as those of us talking about Twitter and other SM tools were clearly boring the civilians. It was as if the red sea parted the party-goers. Alliteration aside, my concern is that Twitter will soon be overrun with people who treat it like an RSS feed as opposed to a community.

In fact, according to the company, there has been a 900% increase in active Twitter users over the previous year and they recently secured a reported $35 million in venture capital funding. Hubspot estimates that 5,000 to 10,000 new Twitter accounts are opened each day. I just wonder if quantity will equal quality here. I fear that we’ll see a surge in people using Twitter poorly, which will result in backlash against the tool, and soon the same clients who want it now won’t want to go near it later. Then again, perhaps I’m just fulfilling Verdino’s prophecy with some advance griping about how it’s not the same anymore.

So, I put the question to you, dear readers. How long will Twitter last now that the mainstream media are talking about it?

By the way, if you want to see Twitter’s creators explaining the site to a bunch of civilians, check out this Nightline piece:

 UPDATE: Just to further demonstrate Twitter-mania, this man discovered a stranger in his home. Did he call the cops? Nope, he tweeted and sent videos to uStream throughout the home invasion.

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