The End of Twitter? What will happen to twitter in 2011?by Daniel Snyder on Jan 3, 2011 • 3:39 pm 38 Comments
Twitter the sensational social network could be on the verge of destroying itself, could the end of twitter be near? I don’t often write bold prediction posts, but my experience with twitter over the past while has led me to suspect that unless something dramatic is done users could begin to abandon the social network in alarming numbers.
Image from infekted.it
The End of Twitter, what could possibly cause it?
What could possibly contribute to its demise and signify the beginning of the end of twitter? In my opinion it is one thing, SPAM. Twitter seems to have become the place to be for spammers of all kinds (even YOU may be a spammer, find out what I mean.) Spammers have taken to harvesting human avatars from sites on the web, and they seem especially fond of hot girl avatars (many of which come from sites like this and this.) It’s not uncommon to be followed by accounts with thousands of followers and zero tweets, accounts with no avatars, or the most annoying those that do nothing but spam out advertising, product links and sales pages.
Twitter reported in 2010 to have over 190 million users who tweet 65 million times a day. While those numbers may sound impressive, they’re not in fact only 8% of Americans are using twitter which is certainly not enough to classify it as mainstream. 190 million unique users or accounts? Certainly not 190 million unique individuals, rather a LARGE percentage of twitter accounts are automated, are spam bots or are single individuals holding multiple accounts. A surprisingly large percentage of people I interact with on twitter have more than one twitter account (I myself recently had as many as three active twitter accounts), and I know someone with nine accounts.
The End of Twitter, is it near?
Twitter has done a surprisingly poor job at dealing with spammers, while facebook is not completely rid of spammers either it has done a far better job (by utilizing stronger privacy and permission settings), at holding spammers at bay. In addition not all spammers on twitter are bots, and somehow it has become the premiere social network for flaunting your product and thinking people are just going to ignorantly click your links. Spam mentions are ever increasing, with spammers dropping my twitter username into their tweets hoping for a quick click on an increasingly regular and annoying basis. Though twitter still drives a lot of traffic to this blog, the spam within it makes using the service frustrating at times. Even popular twitter trends like #FollowFriday are now virtually considered nothing but spam (#FollowFriday is dead).
The possibilities for spam on twitter are endless, and as long as the trend to follow large numbers of people continues and the majority of engaged twitter users are selective about who they are paying attention to by utilizing lists (though I may follow 10,000 people I only monitor a small percentage of those individuals tweets if you make it onto one of my lists, yeah I don’t even SEE the tweets of over 9,000 of those people, EVER).
Do I really think Twitter could be nearing its end and declining in popularity? Well, I’m uncertain. I suspect that the smart guys behind twitter know well enough the issues that they are having with spam on their network, and are going to launch some sort of action to deal with this problem. Weeding out the spammers from the real humans could be the problem, and what is holding them back. What solutions can you think of? Perhaps limiting users to a single account (verified by SMS or some other method)? In any case, Twitter needs to do something about the SPAM or the end is near.
If Twitter could be on it’s way out perhaps now is the time to scoop up some twitter clothing? I would suspect some of these shirts could be very cool retro items in a few years, especially if this is the beginning of the end of twitter.
What do you think? Could the beginning of the end of twitter be on the horizon? Do you use the service at all? Are you frustrated with the amount of spam on twitter, and could that have an impact on whether you continue to use the network? Share your thoughts, maybe you disagree… this may not be the end of twitter but only the beginning.