Something IS Going On With Facebook! I said back in May 2007, in response to a comment made by John Kirriemuir, after he received a sudden influx of Facebook befriending messages. That was my first inkling that what had previously been a rather dull academic network might become the major talking point of 2007.
The post came back to me yesterday after I received a similar influx of people who have have chosen to follow me on the Twitter microblogging tool. And a Techcrunch article published on 2nd January 2007 suggested that “Twitter has the potential of breaking into the mainstream this year“.
The Techcrunch article described the Twitter Stats service which provides graphs showing an individual’s use of Twitter. This is likely to be only of interest to regular Twitter users. Of more interest are the range of other Twitter applications which have been developed over the past year and the excitement which Twitter seems to be generating.
I normally use the Twitter Web site, but I have also used the Twitteroo client (illustrated) and have configured Facebook so that my Facebook status is updated by Twitter posts.
But what’s new with Twitter? Looking at Techcrunch articles about Twitter it seems that the review of 2008: Web 2.0 Companies I Couldn’t Live Without includes Twitter as one of the new indispensable tools released in 2007. Another review of the year suggests that “Omnipresence was another big theme in 2007 with Twitter brining (sic) always on, always available communication to the masses … perhaps overall we’re all the richer for the networking Twitter delivers“.
The uncertainties regarding the benefits of Twitter were acknowledged in a post on Can You Spare The Odd Pea For A Good Cause? “The benefits of Twitter may still be subject to heated debate amongst TechCrunch commenter’s, but very few would doubt that Twitter has created new relationships and taken social networking to new (and perhaps different) levels.” The post refers to a cause that’s hot on Twitter (Frozen Pea Friday): a Breast Cancer Awareness and fundraising day in support of well regarded blogger Susan Reynolds. Although in this case Twitter is being used by someone with a clear interest in use of Web 2.0, the way in which microblogging can be used hints at its potential for a wider audience.
A Wikipedia article provides further background information about Twitter but the Twitter-fan wiki provides a more comprehensive list of Twitter applications and ideas for how Twitter could be used. I have started to think about the potential for Hashtags to aggregate microblog posts at an (amplified) event. I was also interested to see how Brooklyn Museum is making its blog available via Twitter. And software developers might be interested in use of Twitter by non-humans.
Now what other interesting applications for Twitter might there be? And do you feel that it will take off in 2008?