Twitter was NEVER a Social Networking Site – proof!

Ha! I love it when I am right. *Happy Dance!*

For years, I have been explaining that Twitter was never in the social networking business. It was in the human search engine business. It isn’t Twitter vs. Facebook. It was – and will be – Twitter vs. Google. Do I also smell an IPO in 2010?

Good buddy and reputation management expert, Andy Beal, picked up something very clever in Biz Stone’s OpEd piece. Biz Stone is one of the founders of Twitter, and I had the pleasure of sharing the speaking stage with him this past year.  Very down to earth guy, but, I digress.

Here is what Andy found…

“It can be these things but primarily Twitter serves as a real-time information network powered by people around the world discovering what’s happening and sharing the news…In the new year, Twitter will begin supporting a billion search queries a day. We will be delivering several billion tweets per hour to users around the world…”

A BILLION searches. Google currently handles around 400,000 million searches a day. Twitter will BEAT that.

The coming decade will redefine not just the role of media – but media ITSELF.

The King is Dead. All Hail the People.

(photo credit @respres on Flickr)

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  • Orenthian

    Great post — and totally agree the next decade will re-invent media itself [even more timely considering the Time Warner / Fox debacle]!

    In regards to Twitter NEVER being a social networking website and always being in the human search engine business: Twitter has emerged into a direct competitor of Google, but they weren’t always in the search business… at least from my understanding.

    They began as a website with a stronger focus on SMS — sporting the value proposition: “Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?”

    Twitter didn’t even have a very robust, native search feature until later 08′. The search feature was more an effort to see my family / friends tweets.

    It wasn’t until early / mid 2009 when they officially became more of a discovery engine.

    Totally agree with you about “It will be – Twitter vs. Google.”

    My opinion is likely more Twitter once was a social networking website, but we are all the better now that it isn’t.

  • Ed

    Hi. One of the best posts read in a while. You nail on the head exactly what Twitter is, ultimately, about (at least in terms of benefit for Twitter). It’s about human search. And this is powerful stuff. I think human search is just in its infancy. But it’s got to be important because how many of us do things in life because of hints/tips/recommendations from friends/family members/work colleauges/people we happen to meet in everyday life – and so on.
    I think Twitter has the potential to be equally as important as Google. Perhaps, eventually, overtake it few years down the line perhaps? But it will have to do things, i think, in order to stay ahead of the game. What “things”, exactly? No idea. But people could tired of the Twitter experience unless it develops in new ways.
    Facebook? Find more difficult to work out. What do you think about Facebook’s future?