Twitter isn’t a social network, announces Kevin Thau (@kevinthau), Twitter’s Vice President for business and corporate development, at a Nokia World 2010 presentation yesterday.
It’s a nice soundbite, but I think it’s fair to say that for a lot of Twitter’s 145+ million users, it’s far more about the social aspect than anything else. Twitter is a fantastic resource for breaking and sharing news and information, and is now the tenth most-visited website on the internet, but, certainly from my experience on the network, as many people use the platform for chat and social interaction as they do the submission and sharing of data.
Although I guess it depends on what you label as ‘information’, but for the sake of argument let’s define it as updates that include an external link. I think it can sometimes appear differently as there’s a core, very loud and very influential group of power-users, tech blogs, news feeds and celebrities who link to external content in every submission and gobble up a lot of attention and retweets. These users can make Twitter appear to be all about sharing information, but it’s an illusion.
Of course, it very much depends on who and how many you are following, but for a lot of folks Twitter is just a fun place to hang and connect with their friends, many of whom they’ve met on the network. These individuals share and click on links too, but it’s not their primary concern.
Besides, why does Twitter have to be just one thing, or even a few? Can’t it be something different to everyone?
(Image source, and more about this story, over at RWW.)