Why Twitter is 140 signs of relevance and is not going to die (sorry Nielsen)

by Laurent François

Some experts bet that Twitter could die. It’s the new flavor of the month.

How come?Because Nielsen predicts so, comparing Twitter audience retention rate, with the experience curbs of Facebook and MySpace:

“Twitter’s audience retention rate, or the percentage of a given month’s users who come back the following month, is currently about 40 percent,” writes David Martin, vice president of Primary Research for Nielsen Online, in a company blog entry. “For most of the past 12 months, pre-Oprah, Twitter has languished below 30 percent retention.”

“Wait a minute”. 5 reasons why I don’t agree :

  • Twitter is only based on our affinity tribe. It’s a nonsense to follow everybody on digital Earth, whereas you should only follow people that give you value added.
  • Twitter is not based on FRIENDS but on FOLLOWERS: you discriminate more easily followers than friends. A bad retention rate is a good sign that your personal CRM works pretty well: you’re always looking for people / Twitter users that maximize your time
  • Twitter is not Facebook. On Twitter, you want to have the value added right now, to consult and poll your tribe. If you don’t get info, it means that you haven’t built your relevant tribe: you need 140 signs of relevance (+ 15Mo of celebrity to quote Armano). On Facebook, most of your friends are not very active. On Twitter, most of the users you follow are relevant. That’s not the same level of analysis.
  • Twitter is not made for “mass”: it’s based on people’s capacity to agregate and find the ebst paths. In a sense, we all should follow only 5 to 10 relevant users
  • It’s only in a search usage that using macro-tools like Sideline make sense: the sum of all the tribes’ intelligence!

Microblogging won’t die…or die another day

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