Print 13 comment(s) - last by SAmely.. on Mar 31 at 10:52 AM

Many of Twitter's 200 million registered users are not active on the site, and Jack Dorsey is looking to change that

Social networking sites have become wildly popular in recent years, allowing people to connect with loved ones and friends they haven't seen in ages. Social networking has also become a huge marketing tool. But the competition is fierce, and Twitter is looking to become a larger player in the competitive social networking ring. 

Sites like MySpace, which has recently shifted its focus toward entertainment, and Facebook, which has over 500 million active users and a movie made about its creation, have dominated the social networking industry for some time now. While Twitter has risen in popularity since its launch in July 2006, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey is looking to make the microblogging website more "mainstream." 

Twitter is the place for short messages of 140 characters or less, and a way to stay up-to-date with friends, family and even celebrities who are avid Twitterers like Conan O'Brien and Charlie Sheen. Twitter has certainly made a presence in the social networking world with more than 200 million registered users, but according to a research firm called eMarketer, very few of these users are active. In fact, "less than 25 percent of Twitter users generate about 90 percent of tweets."

Now, Dorsey has stepped in after nearly a three-year absence in an effort to make Twitter more appealing to the masses. He will act as Twitter's executive chairman, and supervise product development from here on out. Dorsey was initially Twitter's chief executive until Evan Williams replaced him in 2008. 

"We need to refocus on the value and that is my goal in the next few months," said Dorsey. 

Despite increased competition and lack of appeal to the masses, Twitter has still grown significantly since its launch. In December 2010, the microblogging site was valued at $3.7 billion in a $200 million funding round by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a venture capital firm. Earlier this month, investors valued the company at $7.7 billion at an auction of Twitter shares.  

"We have a lot of mainstream awareness, but mainstream relevancy is still a challenge," said Dorsey. 

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By Boze on 3/30/2011 12:41:15 PM , Rating: 4
Sure, for certain segments of the population, its a useful tool - protesters and revolutionaries, like in Egypt, China, Libya, etc., usually because they have little-to-no direct access to other avenues of information sharing.

A $3.99/month website hosting plan is nothing for the average American, or European; for other citizens of the world, that can actually be a serious barrier to entry, you also have to consider the cost/feasibility of registering a domain and spending the time designing the site.

Additionally, not everyone has access to Facebook or can garner enough interest by e-mailing a reporter to have a story appear on the front page of for instance.

But sadly, for the average person in developed free nations, Twitter is kinda pointless. There's nothing going on there that can't be spread through a website (if you can remember @BillGates, you could remember, or through Facebook.

If I'm missing the boat here, someone please forward me to the cruise director so I can get aboard.

By tng on 3/30/2011 1:25:47 PM , Rating: 2
Without having even read the article, I can tell you that here is the problem.
Internet Twitter Co-Founder Looks to Revamp Site, Make it More Appealing to the Masses, not just teens and pre-teens

Adding the last line in the headline on the article makes all the difference in my book. I could never see the whole purpose or appeal of Twitter either.

By bubbastrangelove on 3/30/2011 1:46:16 PM , Rating: 3
To follow Charlie Sheen...duh!

By Kurz on 3/30/2011 2:21:20 PM , Rating: 2

By SAmely on 3/30/2011 3:27:31 PM , Rating: 2
Not quite sure what you were getting at, but the thing I like the most about Twitter is the ability to choose the information I'm going to get and from who. If someone I'm following posts useless crap I don't want to see, I just unfollow them.

I follow tech news, various different sports, friends of mine, and other interests, at my choosing. I find it very useful to narrow the scope of information I want to see. I don't use it as a tool to broadcast my life.

By Boze on 3/30/2011 4:37:43 PM , Rating: 1
Not quite sure what you were getting at

That Twitter is pointless.

but the thing I like the most about Twitter is the ability to choose the information I'm going to get and from who

This already exists... its called "Favorites" in IE and "Bookmarks" in every other browser. Also called RSS feeds for that matter.

If someone I'm following posts useless crap I don't want to see, I just unfollow them.

This already exists too. Its called "DEL" on your keyboard. Use it to remove bookmarks. Or feeds.

I follow tech news, various different sports, friends of mine, and other interests, at my choosing. I find it very useful to narrow the scope of information I want to see.

All this can also already be done... long before Twitter.

Again, I argue that Twitter is another useless "social networking" tool.

By SAmely on 3/30/2011 5:58:50 PM , Rating: 2
I disagree that it's pointless, and I'm aware of all the things you listed, but the only thing that comes close is RSS.

I don't disagree that it can be used as a pointless social networking tool, but it can also be used in other ways that I find useful. You don't, I get it. I don't know how much you've used it or your experience with it, either. But that may not matter given the strong tone you've presented.

By tng on 3/30/2011 6:39:21 PM , Rating: 2
I think that he like myself look at Twitter as mainly a social network that has limited uses given that we already have tools to do everything that it does, just not in one place.

I also think that like me his perception of the site is maybe colored by the fact that we see it used more for the pointless comments made by useless celebs and the like and not as anything that we would be interested in.

Facebook is also somewhat like this, but it does have it's uses.

By Boze on 3/31/2011 8:26:50 AM , Rating: 1
My perception isn't really "colored" by any of what happens on Twitter.

I asked myself, "What does Twitter provide to me which I do not already have access?" Nothing. There's literally nothing I can see on Twitter that I cannot see elsewhere, and usually in a more comprehensive form.

Twitter is SMS messaging in a medium that allows for essentially unlimited storage. SMS messaging limits themselves were a number just pulled out of thin air with no scientific or market research to back it up -

This is just one more technology that has extremely limited application and which vain people use to give their existence additional meaning. Its the same concept as "friend collectors" on Facebook. Only a small percentage of humans can effective manage a social circle larger than 150 people. The best humans can manage around a 1000. Its literally impossible to have meaningful relationships with 2000+, let alone 3000, 4000, 5000 like some Facebook users have.

Once again, I submit that Twitter is useful for a few, useless for most, and certainly not worth $7.7 billion.

By SAmely on 3/31/2011 10:52:28 AM , Rating: 2
I get what you're saying, but I can't help but think you're minimizing the possible uses of it.

The majority of what I care about on Twitter is people who post factual information, not those who have a stream of consciousness of their daily life.

I also like to see opinions from people I respect, that are on Twitter. I'm absolutely not friends with most of the people I follow on Twitter, which is currently at 139. So, it has nothing to do with a social space in that regard for me.

Not sure why I'm responding, but alas, I did.

More posting?!
By The Raven on 3/30/2011 1:25:23 PM , Rating: 2
Seriously, bro? You want MORE people to spout off with inane comments, like, "I'm bored" or "Check this pic/video"?

While the people at Twitter want people to speak up, I will be asking people to reserve their keystrokes for more important things.

This is the only reason I frequent the DT comments section. It is possible to sort through and follow. Check out the comments section on Youtube or Yahoo!... most of those people really need to shut up.

Of course I am not perfect, but at least I try to keep the conversation productive and meaningful. Sometimes it seems like most people out there have aims that are FAR from that.

I mean it is not even "information overload"... it is harder and harder to find the information you are looking for when people won't shut up.

RE: More posting?!
By jordanclock on 3/30/2011 3:31:22 PM , Rating: 2
The point of Twitter isn't to view the massive collective feed of every post, it's to follow your friends, family, and things that matter to you. I don't use Twitter myself, but those that do usually follow only select people or organizations and it has been very beneficial to them. They can get instant information on things they care about in small, concise packages.

Twitter... BAH!
By just4U on 3/30/2011 8:56:45 PM , Rating: 2
The thing that bother's me about twitter is how the media tried to sell it to the masses. Almost like a social experiment on their part. Why do I say that?

Well, Most had never even heard of it before and suddenly there are were a few news programs, a few talk show hosts, politicians, and what not saying "TWITTER" all over the place. It hadn't really taken off but they gave the impression that it was all the rage. Almost seemed to me that they tried it to see if they could manipulate the masses into using what they figured was the new best thing in social networking even though ... at the time it's user base was nothing to write home about.

"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook
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