Today, We Think Twitter Is Dead (for Now)

twitterdeadI woke up this morning, checked the news and realized that I didn’t get the “Today, we think Twitter is dead” memo. Last week, Twitter was on the cover of Time magazine, deemed to be a life-defining technology. Today, Twitter is making gloomy headlines.

  • says Twitter’s growth flattened in May 2009, but Facebook’s grew 8 percent. Twitter was up only 1.47 percent to 19.7 million uniques for the month, after growing 40 percent in April (via).
  • BBC reports that according to a Harvard Business School study, only 10 percent of Twitter users generate more than 90 percent of the content. Is that a problem? Not particularly, if you ask me. On the social web the 80/20 rule — 80 percent consumers to 20 percent creators — is the norm.
  • Did you know that the Twitpocalypse is near? No, we are not all getting horribly addicted to tweeting, though ESPN jocks clearly are. Instead, there is a bug in the Twitter system that would be like Y2K. Apparently each tweet is identified by an integer value and the maximum signed 32-bit integer value for most database applications is 2,147,483,648. And since Twitter is getting so popular, we are inching close to that number. You can keep track of it here. Now if I remember correctly, the Y2K bug didn’t really cause any major havoc. Unless you blame it for bursting the dot-com bubble.

The best part about this bad news and today’s Twitter-hate: Next week, we the media will have forgotten all about this and will be writing happy (if totally) inane stories such as how Twitter is going to change the way we live. Oh wait, Time magazine already did that. Never mind.

If you want, you can follow me on Twitter @om. I promise to be among the 10 percent of people who create more than 90 percent of the content. But don’t expect me to be happy all the time.