The Future of Twitter: The Public Conversation Backbone

This afternoon I was reading Jessica Vascellaro’s post about Twitter going mainstream. One of the main topics highlighted in the post is how businesses are taking advantage of Twitter. As the question of how Twitter is going to make money has been heavily discussed of the past few weeks, I’ve begun to consider what opportunities lie ahead for the company.

Twitter As the Platform for Conversation

I’ve been thinking more and more about many of the benefits provided by Twitter and what opportunities are available. The most amazing thing taking place from Twitter is the tracking of public conversation. I personally believe that this is amazingly transformational in the globally networked landscape. The fact that I can monitor all the discussion taking place about any given topic instantly is huge.

While there is a value in being able to talk privately, the public conversation which was previously unheard can now be heard by hundreds of thousands if not millions of individuals. In terms of the ability to connect individuals, Twitter is extremely powerful for finding others with similar ideas. While we can debate the impact of constantly communicating with like-minded individuals, there is no doubt that the impact of this platform is massive.

What I’ve begun to think about is the power of Twitter as a platform for public conversation everywhere. Just last week I wrote about the CBS social viewing room and one of the largest issues was that there was no conversation about many of the shows that I viewed. What if the service has tapped into Twitter and aggregated all the conversation taking place by users about individual shows?

Currently, that is only one option and much of the conversation isn’t active as users are simply tweeting that they are in the act of watching any given show, hardly a valuable addition to any conversation.

Public Conversation Adds Immense Value

I think what many Twitter users have begun to realize following the initially narcissistic user base is that a lot of value can be derived from quickly sharing information with others. There is a conversational aspect as well as the ability to influence minds. I think that as individuals we are only beginning to recognize the power of social technology.

As I wrote this morning, it has become clear that social networks are still highly inefficient. That’s because we are still figuring out how to use them. The same goes for Twitter but I believe that we will see more integration with Twitter from external media sources. The future of interactive media is already here and among a small portion of the population that interaction is taking place on Twitter.

The company will need to continue expanding its reach including the integration with blog comments, and other forms of media. The more public conversation which is distributed through a centralized, searchable platform provides a lot of value. Once Twitter is assumed as that backbone I personally believe that there are countless monetization option available.

How do you envision the future of Twitter? Do you think it makes sense to use Twitter as the single platform for all public conversation?