5 Twitter Trends to Look For in 2011

2010 saw massive growth for Twitter, as well as the introduction of an advertising platform and more mainstream attention. While these and other changes over the past year were big news for Twitter, we think 2011 will bring even more change to the microblogging service.

TNN – Twitter News Network

Twitter blossomed in 2010 as a vehicle for breaking news, and we think this trend will continue in 2011. Journalists will continue to use Twitter to find new angles and sources for stories, and citizen journalists will harness it for on-the-ground coverage of what’s happening in their hometowns.

Moving into 2011, Twitter will likely mature as a news network. In recent months, Biz Stone has been emphasizing the media partnerships that Twitter has made over the past year, indicating that Twitter leadership wants to encourage news organizations to use Twitter.

Look for some new interface designs that make it easier to find “news-y” tweets, more lists of journalists and news organizations, and even deeper partnerships between Twitter and traditional newsrooms in 2011.

More Personalization

Twitter leadership has repeatedly said that one of the challenges they face moving forward is making Twitter more relevant to each individual. They want to personalize Twitter a bit more, so we should expect to see some experiments in this vein in 2011.

Look for an expanded focus on lists and news ways to organize whose tweets you see in your home feed in 2011.

Advertisers Want Your Eyeballs

In the early months of 2011, we can expect to see Twitter open up its advertising platform, also known as Promoted Products, to the general business public. Moving out of beta testing will mean more ads from a more diverse group of advertisers.

This will be one of the main sources of revenue for Twitter in 2011, so we’re sure they will spend lots of time tweaking it to make it a pleasant experience for advertisers as well as users. However, as with any advertising platform there are bound to be growing pains!

Look for lots of Promoted Product flops, and successes, in 2011.

The Datastream Is For Sale

Twitter announced that it would be selling tweets from its datastream a few months back, and this news is sure to reverberate throughout the next year.

Although purchasers won’t be able to display any tweets they buy, they can use them for analytics purposes. This will change the way the “big boys” act on Twitter, as they build up a precise understanding of what works and what doesn’t.

And while the datastream will only be able to be accessed by big players – as it costs upwards of $300,000 for 50% of all tweets for a year – the fact that this information will be more publicly available will change Twitter for many users.

Look for more targeted tweeting in 2011.

User Innovation

We’re seeing uses of Twitter that no one could have predicted: as an emergency response tool, as on-the-ground reporting, as a way to protest, and even as a way to critique discographies.

Look for even more unique and exciting ways that individual users will harness Twitter in 2011.