Technology tastes change quickly. Things can be hot today, gone tomorrow.
Anybody remember Pointcast? Once the software app of the moment, it was quickly tossed into the rubbish bin of technology history.
That brings us to Twitter, one of the apps du jour. It's amazing how swiftly it has penetrated into the public consciousness. We now see the tweets of public figures scrolling across TV screens during International sporting events.
Founded in 2006, Twitter has gone public and amassed a $31 billion market cap in less than 10 years.
But will we still tweet 10 years from now? After all, it's just a text message. There's not really any rocket science here. And it's been proven that new social apps such as Instagram and WhatsApp can swoop in and grab the fickle-fancy of teens in a heartbeat.
A decade is an eon in tech terms. When you think of Moore's Law, whereby computer speed and capacity doubles every two years, it makes 10-year old technology look lame.
No app is safe in the zeitgeist of mobile culture.
Will Twitter still exist in 10 years?
Qriously, a real time sentiment indicator
In a unique twist to this week's Discussion Point, we decided to ask a machine -- Qriously, a real time tool for measuring sentiment over mobile devices. With the help of Bill Brazell, a partner at WIT Strategy, we set up the question for a real time survey. A total of 540 people responded.
Interesting, according to the first Qriously poll, more people think Twitter will be toast. Of the 540 people polled, only 26 percent thought we'd still be using Twitter in 10 years, while 41 percent think we won't be using it. Another 32 percent weren't sure.
Taking the poll a step further, we decided to rephrase a bit to "Will Twitter still exist in 10 years?" Again the audience was highly skeptical, with 44 percent of the 540 people surveyed responding "No." Only 28 percent said "Yes" and 29 percent couldn't commit to one or the other.
These poll results are interesting and in some ways surprising. In the tradition of Discussion Point, though, we thought we'd go on to get some more color from industry professionals. Below, we include the opinions of two tastemakers in marketing and public relations.
Rich Williams, President, Connect2 Communications
Williams founded Connect2 Communications in 2003. Since then, he has helped companies like Acme Packet, Hatteras Networks, MetaSwitch and net.com develop PR and marketing strategies. Before starting Connect2, Williams served as director of marketing and business development for Hatteras Networks. Before than, he was director of corporate communications at Sycamore Networks. Tweet to Rich Williams.
Twitter, the application, as we know it today won’t exist in 10 years — maybe as soon as five. If it does exist, it will be limited to people who are so caught up in themselves that they haven’t realized it’s passé.
The next generation of the workforce won’t accept its limitations and will move to something video oriented. Twitter won’t let them express themselves as fully as they will want and demand.
Matthew Pugh, Vice President, Weiss PR
Pugh has a decade of experience as a public relations executive at places such as Logi Analytics, where he devised and executed comprehensive public relations, analyst relations, and social media programs, and R2integrated, a digital marketing agency. Tweet to Matthew Pugh.
It's difficult to predict whether or not we'll use Twitter in 10 years. Ten years ago, it was hard for most of us to have imagined Twitter being a "thing." Not to mention, it seems like many technologies are here today and gone today.
Twitter's many value propositions will lend to its longevity, including: the ability to syndicate news and content quickly and to a wide audience, the ability to reach and engage with customers, companies, influencers, individuals et al in a direct and meaningful way, and the ability to track and participate in real time conversations, to name a few.
What we can count on is that the Twitter 10 years from now will not be like the Twitter of today.
At the very least, we'll be using an iteration or tool that offers similar value props but with powerful advancements, especially by way of data analytics, measurements of influence. Beyond that, I think it'll be interesting to see not just how the technology will change, but rather how all of us will change and what we'll bring to the technology.