Is Twitter Growing Up?

Mashable have just written about the facebookification of twitter. We’d been having the same conversation in our office. With the launch of the new Twitter coming out of nowhere and then building into a frenzy of energy, the introduction to the next generation of twitter has been a hot talking point this morning – and we’d also noticed that the social platforms seem to be blurring. Whilst the Twitter launch video’s very watchable, we’re not really sure how the user will benefit – or whether Twitter is losing its 140 character selling point and over-complicating itself.

Time will tell.

For the moment, we only have a two minute video to go with and, whilst it’s useful to be able to slide out more information about Twitterers and Twitter trails, and visual is always nice, we’re not quite sure what this will mean in practice, nor what the difference is between the new twitter and platforms like Tweetdeck which already permit this.

Possibly this: “Twitter is for news. Twitter is for content. Twitter is for information.”

RWW have been covering the launch of new Twitter extensively. Whilst we I have been rather hung up on the appearance of Twitter and a little resistant to yet another online change (it’s been a busy week), RWW’s coverage brings some interesting insights from Twitter headquarters and adds some rationale that suggests that facebookification is not the overall aim. For Thau, Twitter’s VP for business and corporate development, Twitter is seen as a place for breaking news, providing information, and creating a space for discussion. It’s also very much for the people who just visit the site to consume what’s going on.

With these objectives in mind, expanding the scope of Twitter to include more content – and more types of content– is a kind of evolution rather than a sideways step. It’s a way of expanding Twitter’s ability to convey news, content and information in different forms and a further broadening of the different ways in which people read and talk.

Which sounds great.

It’ll just be interesting to see the impact it has on the dialogue and how the distinction between social network and news provider plays out in practice.

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