Over the weekend, I saw more than one early-adopter technology pundit wringing their hands on Twitter about @Oprah’s discussion of Twitter on her show on Friday. More than one person asked something along the lines of, “Where are we going to go now that the masses are discovering Twitter?”
This just reeks of elitism, and is something I simply can’t understand. I’m sure there were plenty of people in 1993-1994 who were happily accessing text links online, and were horrified by the first graphical Web browsers.
Twitter is a fun, useful communications tool that has already proven its usefulness as a mass medium (many people were updating Twitter during the Mumbai terrorist attacks in November 2008).
And, despite what some early adopters may think, I think more Twitter users will only enrich the Twitter conversation. In fact, if Twitter’s demographics explode, you’ll most likely see Twitter search reflect that changed demographic – tweets re: the new Tweetie for Mac app will be far outweighed by people Twittering about American Idol or Dancing With The Stars.
Regardless of what the dominant conversations on Twitter are, you’ll still be able to find people you’re interested in, talking about things that interest you. And, if you’re getting bombarded with @replies that you’d rather not deal with, you can always block. And, I think Twitter’s features for following, building, and controlling your groups of friends will only grow as the service matures.
If Twitter does continue to grow, will instantaneous customer service from Comcast, Zappos, and others be able to scale? There’s a huge emphasis right now on close-to-immediate responses from some large companies via Twitter. Will that be able to continue as the user-base grows?