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The Twitter Noise Factor

Posted on : 24-11-2009 | By : Frank Eliason | In : Social Media

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Brian Solis always has thought provoking posts, and today “The Twitter Star: Nova or SuperNova” was no different.  It really provoked some thoughts from me regarding Twitter.  In the post Brian points out some of the declines in visitors to Twitter.com over the past 3 months.  He also points to an April study by Nielsen Online that shows 60 percent of new users do not return.

social_network_loyalty.png

I know many will point out that these measures do not include all the Twitter tools and the open API, and I will concede this point.  Of course Nielsen did not concede that point and in this post they took the study a step further and proved the decline, even when you consider applications.

Over the past few months I have noticed less conversations and a lot more noise which makes it very difficult for new users, and I am sure frustrating to users that have been in the space for a long time.  Twitter has been making strides to make things easier, including creating lists which make it easier to follow people that are important to you.  They also make a great entry point for people to start following groups of people.  Many users have been doing this via tools like peoplebrowsr for a long time.  It is great that Twitter is catching up, but is it enough?

I like looking at things as a Customer eyes, even in situations like this.  So first lets look at the new Customer experience for Twitter.  They hear about Twitter on a news story or from a friend.  Based on this info they go to Twitter.com.  The new home page has search front and center.  I think this is a great step, but as a new user, I am not sure they would know what they want to search for and why.  One thing that comes to mind is they may search the word ‘Twitter’ and this is what it looks like:


For a long time we have all seen the benefits of Twitter trending.  This has been a tool that has told us news from happenings in Iran to natural disasters to the death of famous people.  Today most of the trending topics tend to be filled with spam messages that really do not add value to any of our lives.  Here is the top ten as I am writing this (click on any to view the tweets):

Trending Topics:

#classicmoviequotes
Thanksgiving
Google Wave
New Moon
#aintnothinglike
Jedward
Adam Lambert
Christmas
Goodmorning
Black Friday

The most exciting part for a new user is the first people that follow them.  Of course they immediate follow back and most likely get an odd DM welcome message.  I auto follow back, which causes me to get a lot of spam, but a new user would not know this and will receive similar.  Here is a look at DM’s I have received over the past few hours (names and links have been removed since some are caused by malicious code):

  • Do you get paid for your tweets? 2 minutes ago
  • Hi and thank u! about 1 hour ago
  • Hey Frank, I just took “Which Lady GaGa song r u?” and got: Paparazzi ! Try it: about 3 hours ago
  • Hey Frank, I just took “Are you really team edward or team jacob? well you may know who you wa…” and got: You love Jake! Try it: about 3 hours ago
  • Hey Frank, I just took “How Funny Are You?” and got: Not Bad! Try it: about 3 hours ago
  • Hey Frank, I just took “Are you stupid?” and got: Ur ok! Try it: about 3 hours ago
  • Hey Cap’n – “Thanks for following!” Don’t fret, you can get all your (Google) Wave news and info at - check it out! about 5 hours ago
  • I appreciate your interest in following me. I hope to remain a Twitter friend for a long time. Here is to many pleasant tweets ! about 5 hours ago
  • Just for you! $5 off 2 T-Shirts or more! Use code: SALEJUSTFORU at about 7 hours ago
  • Lieb von dir, dass du mir folgst – das freut mich riesig. Auf bald, deine Andrea about 8 hours ago
  • As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. God bless! about 8 hours ago
  • Hello and thanks for the follow. It would be a BLAST to connect on Facebook?(Check it out and tell me what you think) about 9 hours ago
  • Just take a moment and see that you can make money with this. A lot of people are doing it now.

I have said for a long time this is a community, and in many ways the community must define what the future of Twitter looks like.  If we want it to be relevant long into the future, what would you do?  Have you noticed a change in Twitter?