- WEB STARTUPS
- WEB JOBS
- ALL TOPICS
Will The Last One Turn Off The Lights?
For practically the last work week, the "replies" tab in Twitter has been out of service. People in the know began to push users over to the Summize service to see the replies. What I don’t understand is why Twitter doesn’t change the link on the replies tab to point to Summize – wouldn’t that (at least in the interim) alleviate some of the negative press?
Many people have hopped on the bus to FriendFeed’ville (initially driven by the likes of Robert Scoble and Louis Gray). If you are a regular CN reader, you already know my thoughts on FriendFeed. Corvida explains why you can’t leave Twitter. Others wonder why everyone is bitching.
So come up close because I am going to tell you a little secret… it’s about the traffic Twitter was driving. How many people really give a crap that you just went surfing, that your dog peed on the floor or that you just went to Ikea. Sure there are a few, everyone has some fans. But the majority of Twitter users are bloggers. And from that perspective everyone is trying to milk Twitter for the traffic. Let’s get real here folks.
I have about 3,000 followers on Twitter and when I posted a link early on, I would see anywhere from 10-200 visits to CN from the link. Of course if others "retweeted", that is to copy a twitter message into another content stream, the traffic was even higher. Lately though, the traffic has dropped significantly. From my studies using a variety of proprietary algorithms, I have seen a decline of 60-70% of inbound Twitter traffic.
So I have 3,000 followers, what about those people with more? A couple of power users include: Jason Calacanis with 30,000 followers, Techcrunch with 20,000, Mashable with 8,000, ReadWriteWeb with 2,000 and Forrester analyst Jeremiah Owyang with 9,000. What kind of traffic are they seeing when they post a link? Techcrunch uses twitterfeed so every crunchpost goes directly to the 20,000. Jason promotes Mahalo several times a day – how many of the 30,000 are visiting from the links? No matter how many, it’s good traffic I believe.
Since I don’t know the traffic from other large follower users, the only thing I can go by is when Jason demands that his fans go comment on a photo (typically of his dogs). Within minutes there are usually 30+ comments. This means the actual links are much higher than that.
I’ve asked before for Twitter analytics but I guess first we need to get the service stable. :)
Now here’s another secret for you at no cost because it’s happy hour. Let’s take this traffic concept a step further. I might subscribe to a blog that uses Twitter but what’s the likelyhood that I will actually visit the site? Rarely for advanced users. But with Twitter, you always visit because when you click the link, and henceforth have just driven at least one monetizable pageview to that blog (this one included). Now for CN it doesn’t matter much – but if you have 10k+ Twitter subs and are using Twitterfeed, that could start to amount to something over time. Side note, I don’t use Twitterfeed for CN – I try to only post what I think are the top CN posts into my Twitter feed.
No matter whether the blogs that push links on Twitter are generating revenue or not doesn’t matter – they are still getting eyes to their content which is great.
The issue is what happens now that a core part of the Twitter audience might be packing their bags for other locations? I believe this is part of the concern of everyone who is writing about the service. It’s like wondering what would happen to a few blogs if Digg died tomorrow.
I don’t believe Twitter is going to die, be killed or go for a suicide. Twitter is easy to understand and use. It’s perfect for the mainstream. FriendFeed isn’t. FriendFeed will do very well also for the set of users currently using it. I am not sold that there’s mainstream appeal coming for FriendFeed.