The Evolution of Twitter

Unlike many, I know precisely what Twitter is worth to me: 180 page views.

Most people talk either about how much they love Twitter, how much they don’t understand it, or how stupid it is. These same people rarely understand the value Twitter has to them.

But I know exactly the value that Twitter has to me, and that value is whatever 180 extra page views is worth to you. That is to say, on average my posting a link to my personal Twitter account will bring between 100-300 additional page views onto that link.

I don’t know what the actual value of that is to me, maybe like $4 every month? I don’t know, but I don’t run on ad views so page views are a rather meaningless metric for me.

What’s all this got to do with Twitter?

When I made my return to Twitter I did so because:

I just want to come back into the room with the party.

I remembered getting to take a peek into all my friends lives through Twitter. What they were doing, thinking, or annoyed by. You could see it all in a very fast and easy to digest manner. And while the service itself hasn’t changed, the way that people use the service has drastically changed.

Twitter is no longer a conversation — it’s a broadcast medium. Some of the people that I really wanted to get back into the loop with, simply don’t post anything outside of promotional tweets any longer. “I just wrote”, or “I just did”, or “Support X with me”.

I don’t give two shits about that kind of stuff. My god, is that stuff boring. But as I stated above, I know why they do it — they do it because it has value and nothing else they do on Twitter has value to them.

Sure rising up against corrupt governments, spreading the word, or getting news out — these are all important facets of Twitter, but they aren’t something I actively care to participate in. They have greater good value, but not direct value to me. So passive use of Twitter is, essentially, more valuable.

And then there is Slack — the business communication tool that kicks ass for large like minded groups.

Between the MartianCraft Slack, the private Slack nerd group, and my iMessage conversations — well not only is there little need for email, there is little need for talking to these people on Twitter.

I mean why would I want to have a public conversation with my friends, when I can have a semi-private conversation with them just as easily? I don’t want that guy, who I dislike, interjecting into my conversations. In fact more often than not you don’t want that either. We all have one specific Twitter user in mind — it’s annoying.

I do, however, want the smart people I know to interject if they see fit, and thus I use Slack.

And now we are back to the value of Twitter.

Because I just don’t see the value of Twitter beyond those 180 page views. And as I said already: page views are mostly meaningless for this site. So where’s the value for me?

There’s nothing wrong with finding value in those page views, but they aren’t there for me, or for most people either.

And so last night, as I was winding down, I was thinking a lot about this. It occurred to me that my wife spends most of her time on Instagram, and so do many other people. And it is there, on Instagram, that they are sharing their lives.

And I’m not seeing it.

So I’m once again not in the room with the party.

I joined Instagram, and I plan to be far more active on Instagram than I am on Twitter. I don’t know if Instagram has any value yet, but I do know that Twitter has little value to me at this point.

Oh, how times change.

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