Wednesday, July 13, 2011

SOCIAL MEDIA: Obviously, Twitter's Founders Need Obvious

It's official. Twitter has become as popular as Facebook and Google Search. Well, maybe not LIKE THAT popular, but according to the keyword search results, Twitter is in top daily search ratings on a daily basis.

It's used by more than 175 million people around the world (vs. 600 million on Facebook). Its platform allows to communicate in various languages. Presidents use it. Celebrities use it. Athletes use it.  Revolutionists use it. Businessmen use it. Journalists use it. Even terrorists use it. Who does NOT use it? Maybe only toddlers and animals - although they still get their accounts - for the "cute" effect of it. And now, Twitter has finally figured out how to monetize it. So there is no really any need to "grow" it, anymore because now the popular microblog is growing organically - pretty much everyone know what it is, where to get it and how to use it.

That's why it comes to no surprise that Twitter co-founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams (who I've met at the Fast Company's "The 100 Most Creative People in Business" last June) plan to leave their love child be and go back to the neglected child - Obvious.

Stone and Williams are planning to revive their very first 'baby' - Obvious, the company they conceived years ago as a technology project incubator that eventually spawned Twitter. Basically the guys are longing to develop new projects, which is not uncommon in Silicon Valley. It'd be rather strange if they didn't want to pursue other projects.

The mission of the company reads like this:

Per the mission, they 'want to make a difference" and they want to 'develop products that matter";- for that I applaud. We do need products and services that matter, not just a cloud of overwhelming amount of social media tools, most of which have no sense to exist at all. Like (It was one of the accounts I've managed in my past PR life...) Don't even try to search it, it does NOT exist anymore, instead, some other company bought their domain. It's just the idea of public polling just never got around the investors and Internet users - who REALLY cares to know how many people would say 'yes' to teeth cleaning? I did, however, scored them publicity in TechCrunch and New York Times, but those are long forgotten by now...) So, many products just cease to exist, and I, personally, pity that money that VCs give to such projects - a children cancer hospital could have better utilized those money...

Anyway, as Twitter "backboners" step aside, they should be aware that the competition is just around the corner.

According to Chinese tech blog Techweb China's Sina Corp is ready to launch Weibo as Twitter rival. This planned launch would mean direct competition with popular U.S. microblogging service Twitter.

Weibo is an English version of its microblogging platform that is similar to Twitter and currently has 140 million users. They are expecting to reach 200 million by the end of 2011. And since China is THE next EMPIRE, and the companies around the world are competing for the Chinese consumers, I'd say that Weibo might become THE "Twitter" tool for all the businesses in USA and other countries, meaning, the revolutionists, celebrities and politicians - would follow. Because - who wouldn't want to share a piece of a big, juicy pie? (As of today, already, Paris Hilton's perfume is selling better in Asia than in USA. But that just means - bad taste...)

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