I enjoyed reading today’s post on the Twitter blog. It provides an interesting glimpse into the success and virality of Twitter – a success that is just as much user driven and defined as it is company defined.
Twitter was never meant to be used the way it is being used. Twitter was meant to be a social tool for people to keep in touch with their friends by giving frequent, short answers to the question “What are you doing?”
In reality, explains the blog post and I agree, Twitter is being used by companies as well as by individuals, and it is used to answer a much broader question – the question of “What’s happening?”
To me, this is exactly the beauty of Twitter and the partial explanation to its astonishing success, especially considering the low, almost spartan, level of the service and its frequent glitches.
Twitter, without ever meaning to, gave people a free, powerful marketing tool. They can use it to market a product, a service, or their own thoughts and ideas.
The best products and services are so good at answering the WIIFM (what’s in it for me?) question that they are being marketed and pushed and evangelized by their users, for free. Twitter is such a service. Genius or pure luck? Just like every other huge success, it’s likely a combination of both.