AdAge: Twitter ‘Quitters’ Make Service’s Reach Limited

AdAge this week takes a look at Twitter‘s big, buzz-worthy numbers and spike and traffic, due in part to Oprah’s and Ashton’s inane Twitter campaigns. The trade publication suggests that Twitter’s reach will remain limited, because so many of these new Twitter signees have logged on because of the hype and then … well, nothing.

… the breathless [traffic] reports have not accounted for what people do after they sign up for a Twitter account. Creating a Twitter account doesn’t equal becoming an uber-user, or even a casual user, of the micro-blogging site. Nielsen Online data released today suggest more than 60% of people who sign up for Twitter abandon the service.

“Twitter Quitters” are threatening Twitter’s very survival! (You can see Nielsen’s post on the matter here.)

Of course, there’s no doubt that folks are signing on to Twitter just to see what all this buzz is about, then leaving the quirky service because they don’t get it, don’t have the time to work with it, don’t sit on their computers or cell phones all day or (possibly?) are put off by its increasingly precious nomenclature (Tweets, tweeps, twibes? Srlsy?).

There’s also the social media arms race effect, in which people, groups and companies sign on to the service just to say they’re on it. Even SEC coaches feel as if they have to tweet, even if they don’t know what it is!

Tennessee Coach Lane Kiffin doesn’t know if Twittering is a recruiting advantage, but he’s not taking any chances.

Kiffin opened a Twitter account recently after learning Georgia Coach Mark Richt had one.

“To me, it’s more one of those things that you don’t want anyone doing anything that you’re not,” Kiffin said. “Reading that Coach Richt had started that and had one, we just wanted to make sure that there wasn’t anything that could possibly be a benefit that we weren’t doing.”

(What? No comment from Houston Nutt, the undisputed king of collegiate text messaging? Sigh. Moving on …)

So, yes, AdAge’s report makes absolute sense. Is this a bad thing for Twitter? Not necessarily. AdAge says that if Twitter can get users to stick, then it will remain a niche service. As the employee of a niche publisher, I know that niche audiences, no matter how small, can be prized by advertisers and content providers alike. Niche isn’t bad. But it might not be what Twitter’s creators and investors are aiming for.

Meanwhile, I want to know this, Twittersphere: As we’ve seen, Twitter has legitimate uses for work, nonprofits, marketing, customer service, internal communications, emergency communications and more. But are Twitter noobs — the disciples of Oprah and Ashton — truly ruining Twitter for its power users? Are too many folks crashing the party?

Let me know in comments.

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Talking Twitter Tuesday on ‘Today’s THV This Morning’

All a Twitter

All a-Twitter

Tired of Twitter yet? Possibly! But the little microblogging service that could is still generating plenty of buzz — some of it not from bored news editors but people legitimately curious about the service and how it might help their business.

At about 6:20 6:40 a.m.-ish on Tuesday, I’ll give a quick primer on Twitter on “Today’s THV This Morning” and, time permitting, how some Arkansas businesses and other organizations are using the service (which we’ve touched on before on this blog and on the radio). Are you suffering from social media fatique and wondering whether Twitter is for you? Hopefully, we can help you answer that question, as well.

Meanwhile, remember you can follow me @LT and Arkansas Business @ArkBusiness. And be sure to sign up with the THV Morning Crew:

@MatthewGCarroll, producer

@BeccaBuerkle, producer

@AlysonCourtney, anchor

@CCrowson016, reporter/anchor

@todaysthv, news

Also

Corporate Blogs and Tweets Must Keep SEC in Mind – WSJ

Oprah and Ashton Will Destroy Twitter – PC Magazine

Numbers Can’t Begin to Describe Twitter’s Impact – Wired

Twitter me this: Wake up and get the Tweets, alderman says – Northwest Arkansas Times

Twitter marketing tips – DoshDosh

Social media: $3.1 billion industry in five years? – eBiz