Thursday, April 30, 2009

Twitter Might Change the World

Twitter has the potential to change how many people relate to information technologies.

But, let's be clear: Twitter is dumb.
For those of us who live in the world of online games and tech development, Twitter is a super-dumbed-down version of existing communications tools.

Messages are not categorized.
Relationships have no nuance. (You "follow" or don't.)
It has the most rudimentary privacy controls.
And that's why it's great.

The vast majority of Twitter messages are visible in the public timeline. Most people posting to Twitter have no expectations of privacy.
According to Alexa, comScore, and Quantcast, Twitter users trend female and 35-ish. This is a group that historically has been very concerned about privacy.

The under-30 crowd doesn't really have privacy concerns. They are already on Facebook and comfortable with the "status update."
But I've wondered if belief in the illusion of privacy amongst older people is slowing the movement to a more transparent society.

I think that Twitter could move about ten year's worth of population from the group that is concerned about privacy to the group that isn't.
Even if the Twitter fad leaves no other legacy, that would be huge.

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