As I read Louis Gray’s prediction on “Real-Time Web” becoming critical in 2009, I saw that the swedish word for microblogging (“mikroblogga”) has officially made it into the Swedish language. E-mail has been used for this so far, but spam is killing it. Messages on social networks, which is what microblogging really is, are here to substitute e-mail and avoid spam.
This means that Twitter and the rest of microblogging platforms (Facebook and FriendFeed, being the most popular) will have two types of uses:
– They will act as social networks, which probably was their primary goal: groups of people who know each other exchanging messages.
– They will act as news (and commercial information) distributors, which could become one of their main money sources. What happened in Mumbai has something to do with this, but as a secondary effect.
I am already watching several communities that are live on Twitter. I am myself using Twitter as a way to know how my friends are doing and getting to know them better. The good thing about it is that I don’t have to stop doing whatever I am doing. It does not interrupt me: just take a look at my twitterfox plugin on Firefox and see whatever my friends have to say. It is a bit adictive, though. In any case, it is clear that Twitter really needs to create an application for groups.
At the same time, I send interesting things to whomever wants to follow me (and I have previously accepted). This means I am spreading news thru Twitter. In fact, besides Twitter Search and TweetScan, there are already some applications which can be used to know which news are the most “linked” on Twitter, on real time and on a daily basis, such as Twitturly or TwitterBuzz.