Twitter vs Instant Messaging, e-mail and Google

There has been a fair bit in the news recently about twitter, some praises but mostely dismissals about its future.

Yesterday at the Morgan Stanley technology conference in San Francisco, Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google praised Twitter’s growth and success to date, while at the same time dismissing it as a “poor man’s email system”, and adding that, as far as instant messaging goes, people use services like Google’s Gmail Chat.

I’m not sure that Eric get’s twitter all that well.  Its not an instant message system at all and it is certainly not an email system but I think it works well at bridging the gap between instant messaging and e-mail.  The problem with instant messging is that it is exactly what it says ‘instant’ and it take’s time out of your day, you type a message and await a responce much is the same way as actually talking on the phone, I feel that whilst having a conversation via instant messaging it is difficult to concetrate on the task in hand which is why during working hours – I only keep my work account on and my personal account switched off.

Twitter on the other hand allows you to have a conversation over the course of a day, you can drop in and out of the stream as little or often as you wish and knowone will get annoyed if you don’t respond within 30 seconds, infact people won’t even know if you have picked up their message or not !

As far as being a poor man’s email system goes, I thought that e-mail went out with the arc! I keep very few people’s email addresses on file anymore, use it only for business and usually prefer to communicate with people via facebook and twitter.  Private message’s can be sent using the DM function and I would say that people tend to respond quicker via twitter and facebook than email ! and the great thing about it is with only 140 letters to play with, people have to be direct about what they want, there is no time or space for I’m sorry to bother you, Do you mind if ? Can I ask a favour? no no! Just tell me what you want and get on with it – we are all as it happens just trying to communicate quickly during our busy days, grabbing a few minutes here and there to interact between meetings, phone calls or even when stuck in traffic.

Meanwhile facebook seem to have headed off to the war room to see what can be done about this little dude twitter from around the corner that doesn’t make any money but has overnight became the 3rd largest social media player trumping the like’s of ning and bebo.  Twitter are right on the back bumper of Facebook now and with yearly growth at over 7000% they are set to get even closer.

Of course Facebook like to say they are not concerned and that the two can co-exist but in the last few months have not only offered twitter a stagering $500 million dollors for the loss making business but gone back to the design table for another makeover to make it, dare I say it – A little more interactive – a little more like twitter.

Things are definatly getting very interesting in this newish world of social media.  I think there is room for twitter and facebook to co-exist as long as they don’t put all their resourses into killing each other.  If they do that, someone else will quickly come from behind and win the face.  This is a fickle old world !

If you want to get in touch, @wiseguyrussell


2 Comments on “Twitter vs Instant Messaging, e-mail and Google”

  1. rob says:

    *nods* I agree. I like to think of twitter as a purer form of facebook. All status, all info, with none of that “Lesley wants you to become a Pirate” or “Danny threw a snowball at you” nonsense getting in the way…


  2. Paul Anthony says:

    I read recently that the “poor mans email system” comment is the verbal equivalent of poking twitter with a stick. If it moves, then Google will likely swallow it whole. – I don’t think that that is an accident.

    I think they are shaking in their boots that their own project hasn’t received traction, and people are throwing money at Twitter hand over fist – even though they haven’t asked for it.

    Watch this space, I think it *will* happen, and Twitter and Google will merge.

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