As I woke up to the news that twitter has launched its people search I was pretty excited. Kudos to twitter for stablizing twitter and finally launching feaures. They were taking shit for trying to stabilize!
John Battele seems to think that this will help reach its inflection point! Well after trying the feature I believe it already has! I found around 30 connections of mine already part of twitter. People from unexpected quaters like my ex-bosses to people who rarely use technology. A varied audience. I would not have expected these people to visit twitter.com let alone joining it! This lets me to believe that people have already taken notice of twitter.
While I like the feature and how fast it was I think there is room for improvement. Of the 30+ connections that I found, I only added 2! I had already sent connection requests to a couple. And after carefully checking each connection out, I realized that a bulk of them either didnt have status updates and not too many followers. I hope twitter introduces a feature to filter active/inactive users based on some criteria. Also given the fact there are people from different walks of life on twitter, it is time for twitter to support groups!
But this experience of mine leads me to believe that there is credibility in the report that 30% of the users are new or unengaged(Twitter grader put up). In my experience it seems to be higher! Its close to 65%. I am sure that in the coming months social pressures would reduce that number as more people get engaged.
Twitter is going through what blogging went thru in 2005. Back in 2002 when I started blogging the conversation was intimate and intense! I was smitten to blogging back then because ideas flowed in. but as the conversation dilute due to noise level in blogging the conversation became less exciting for me. This led me and other people to blog infrequently and move onto other platforms. Twitter being one of them. Will the same happen to twitter? Will people move to friendfeed?
The conversation will always happen, the question is which medium will they exist on. The big difference between twitter and blogging is the ease in which one subscribes and unsubscribes. With blogging subscribe/unsubscribe took a lot of effort and you need to be infront of a computer. With twitter its much easier & its possible to do the same on a mobile phone. This should reduce the impact of people wanting to move out. But twitter has the subscription spam associated with it & for open messaging platform that is prone to abuse. I find value in knowing who subscribed me and hence I get a notification whenever someone subscribes. Twitter recently suspended a whole bunch of accounts reducing my follower count by 10%. This problem would magnify when new users come in. Fortunately spammers have not abused the open msging interface (@userid). Once they start doing that .. we are in for a lot of trouble!
I will keenly watch how twitter evolves over the next few months but the conversation right now is pretty engaging and exciting 🙂 What do you think? Leave a comment here or continue the conversation on twitter here