Twitter, the Most Important Website Since Google?

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Twitter, the Most Important Website Since Google?

twitter bird google jpgI will be the first to admit while it didn’t take me a long time to sign up and start networking with friends on Twitter, it has taken me a long time to understand the true power of the website. When I first started using it I saw it as a networking and communication tool. The more I come to use it and the more I watch people from all walks of life using it I am starting to see why Twitter may possibly be the most important website since Google. To help you understand my logic I want to start with some thoughts on Google.

I think it is safe to say most everyone believes Google is currently the most important website on the internet. When I say important I mean the one that has effected how we use the internet the most thus far. Before it came out we were all satisfied with Yahoo, DogPile and other engines and then Google came a long and it got some grass roots buzz, it was the cool new minimalistic search engine that had surprisingly good results with a clean interface. Soon everyone that was savvy enough to know they could choose the search engine they retrieved info from, chose Google. Google didn’t enhance search, Google popularized search. Yes search was around before Google but people didn’t stop using the Yellow Pages and the Phone book and every other method of finding information until Google.

Enter Twitter -
Even among Google, Google Blog Search, RSS Readers, Blogs, Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, FaceBook etc. there is still room in our already thin attention span for a site like Twitter. Like Google, Twitter is simple, straight forward and extremely easy to use. I don’t look at Twitter as a micro-blogging service I look at as a literal representation (both through information and networking) as to how small this planet really is. Short 140 character messages isn’t what Twitter is but how it is carried out. Twitter is becoming a behemoth of instant information with the ability to follow up with and talk to the person providing that information. Sure you could say that is the same thing as blogs, but most of what is said in blogs can and is starting to be said through 140 characters and you can digest more info from more people that way. I replaced my RSS reader with Twitter in fall of last year, I have seriously logged in to my Reader less then 10 times since September to read blogs when it used to be a daily occurrence. If someone asked, “what is Google not doing well on the web?” Twitter would be at the top of my list. Twitter is a Real Time engine with personal and live feedback.

#Twitter #Search -
Part of the long term stability I see with Twitter is from search.twitter.com. Anything I need to know about something that is happening right now or has happened in the last 12 hours I use Twitter search for. I used to search through Google Blogsearch, Digg, Delicious, Youtube to get breaking news but now I am alerted to it so quick through someones update, and I can go to Twitter search and get hundreds if not thousands of snippets of info and links seconds/minutes after it is happening. Everyone knows about Twitter and the Hudson River, Mumbai attacks etc. You can’t get that from Google. What takes Google minutes or hours to show you takes Twitter seconds. Google Organizes others content, Twitter creates and organizes its own content. When Jon Stewart ripped Jim Cramer a “new one” I found out about it live from people watching in Eastern time and I was able to go set my TIVO for MST and watch it that night. Before Twitter it would of been a Youtube clip submitted to Digg, Reddit or SU the next day. Danny Sullivan mentioned a similar experience during his keynotes at Omniture Summit and SMX West 09 about an earth quake that hit SoCal, he had tweeted about it and started to get replies and see results with information within minutes. There is no other site on the web that has this capability, and I don’t mean as in software but in software powered by a large and growing organic user base.

Sandwich Tweets -
sandwidchTweeting about the homemade panini you made or about the Audi test drive you just took is just as vital to Twitter as live excerpts from members of Congress during the State of the Union. If I wanted a new recipe to make for my wife I would use Twitter in that quest. I am in the market right now for a new car and I have used Twitter to find and reach out to those driving what I am interested in to get real live feedback. You can go to CitySearch or Amazon to see reviews on a product or company, but you can go to Twitter to see less biased reviews and you can talk to the person making those reviews and ask specific questions.

No More Red tape –
red tapeTwitter will replace a lot of media outlets or at least steal a lot of share from them. The way companies can communicate and react to customers via Twitter is Gods great gift to customer communication and loyalty. Before Twitter and partly due to sites like Digg Comcast was the Cable provider ran by Lucifer himself, now because of the outreach that Comcast has utilized via Twitter it is on its way to Saint Hood. Dell has similar experiences. Twitter is finally helping companies be agile who without it were stiff and slow. Social media and blogging in the large corporate space has always been hindered by Red Tape, Twitter forces companies to break that Red Tape. Large companies put review and approval processes before publishing blogs, can you imagine if tweets had to go through legal first? Not going to happen, Twitter forces companies to put someone capable and trusted at the helm as it cannot be regulated it like other mediums.

Twitter Tipping point –
Twitter is mainstream, the nature of Twitter allows every user to utilize its power in their own way, if you are a stay at home mom, CNN, Ashton Kutcher, Jimmy Fallon, small business owner, or the President of the United States you can use Twitter to better your objectives no matter what they may be. This is why it is Mainstream and why it isn’t going to stop, and you think there are a lot of people on there now? I guarantee you that in less than 6 months the user base will nearly double, and instead of people with 400k followers we will have people with over 1M followers. Before Twitter where else would you be able to talk to Shaq or get a late night link to a live streamed jam session by Shawn Ptwitty Combs. People that have influence on Twitter will have influence on the world especially in media. If I was hiring in any kind of business that needed media/marketing presence and I had two nearly identical resumes on my desk and one applicant had no twitter account and the other had 15,000 followers who do you think I am going to hire?

Embrace or be Replaced –
Every company needs to embrace and leverage Twitter before Twitter replaces them. Twitter is already been said to take a chunk out of Job sitesit could do the same to Social Sites, classifieds, dating sites, search engines, aggregators, and so on. FaceBook knows that Twitter is their biggest threat, and it is carving out a strong hold as the most powerful Real Time Search Engine that Google cannot Duplicate.

Conclusion –
There will be a new media darling in a year just as Digg was before Twitter, but Twitter will take on its own role and it isn’t going anywhere. Soon pretty much anyone with an internet connection will be using Twitter if not to tweet but to find Real Time information. In my opinion it is the most influential and important site since Google.

@chrisbennett

Comments

76 Responses to “Twitter, the Most Important Website Since Google?”

  1. I think that Twitter is an extremely significant website in the current digital era, but I can’t see it replacing Google. I predict it will peak… just like MySpace… and get replaced by something much better.

    • Brett,

      I don’t see it replacing Google, but changing how we do things and find things online. And making as much of a difference to how we find “Real Time Info” has much as Google did to regular search.

      And this is all my Opinion but I don’t seeing it peaking like MySpace or FaceBook I see it playing a different role than another social site.

      • I agree.

        I don’t think Twitter is historically another Google.

        Google change rules inside and outside the web.

        On the other side, Twitter is an amazing example of how ideas that has no sense might get going in the Web. It shows us all that Internet follows rules that we don’t really understand. Is clear that the Internet common sense is not everyday common sense.

  2. This is an excellent post! I am of the sentiment that it will not replace Google either, however I do agree that the value of real-time information obtainable on Twitter is unmatched.

    Facebook serves my clients (and myself) in a totally different way, and I expect that the services offerings currently provided by FB will continue to improve.

    I look forward to watch both Twitter and Facebook evolve, as Social Media continues to evolve!

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  3. RSW says:

    Google (or better search in general) will never be replaced. At times users will always need a directory to look up important information.

    Twitter and Social Media is evolving. Users always trust friends before they trust an algorithm. This does not mean, however, that they can provide the same service that search can. I think of search as the Dewey Decimal system, and social media as the librarian.

  4. Mat Siltala says:

    There is so much undiscovered power in Twitter its amazing. I think about SHAQ using it here in the Phoenix area and how he lets everyday ordinary people connect with him on the daily because they are a part of his Twitter universe. It has taken the way people use the Internet to a whole new level and I think is just going to get better and more powerful – Great post bro!

  5. ShelleyDelayne says:

    Thank you for these thoughts!

    I agree with you both on the importance of Twitter and in predictions of Twitter growth in the near future. It will be interesting to see how Twitter evolves with a larger user pool.

    I also agree with the comment that Facebook and Google serve different purposes than Twitter. While I don’t think Google’s in any danger from Twitter – Facebook might be, but only if they continue to behave as though they are afraid of Twitter and shake up their users trying to be more like Twitter instead of figuring out what they do that Twitter doesn’t, that people value, and finding ways to improve that user experience.

    And one more thing: may I recommend you find a proofreader to review your postings before you post them? This is the first time I’ve read something on your blog, and while I like your view and your style of writing, the misspellings and grammatical errors diminish your credibility to me, and make me fairly unlikely to return or recommend your article to anyone.

  6. Obviously Twitter has been gaining momentum, but it’s amazing how much traction it’s got the past few weeks. I’m seeing/hearing mentions on nearly every tv show or radio station I follow.

    Great stuff as always Chris.

  7. While Twitter is a very important part of online marketing right now I think it’s importance will evolve down the road into real time search and people waiting on stand by to give that searcher information. Almost like a giant live chat community.

  8. Jim says:

    Ever hear of Second life?
    How about MySpace?
    Prodigy?

    Silly how much people get caught up in the product of the month?

    Have a longer term outlook than 6 months . . .

    • Jim,

      I understand what you mean by shear users, traffic, influence etc. But IMO (and that is all this post is) Twitter will be just as big if not bigger, but that is besides the point. The point is the real-time search is unparalleled and as the community continues to grow so will the power of Twitters real-time engine.

  9. David King says:

    Twitter Rox my sox…
    that’s all i can say.

  10. Twitter Serves It’s Purpose~ Google Is Google~I Will Admit Sometimes People Get Caught In The Hype~ Keep TwooglinG~ :D

  11. Venkatesh says:

    Hi,
    In my opinion, there is a huge difference. I can share the results I recieved for iphone 3.0.

    When iphone os 3.0 was released, lots of blogs wrote about it. The top10 results mostly consists of blogs from influential people like techcrucnh. A google search has lots of redundancy with lots of blogs reporting same new features in iphone os.

    Twitter had the experience of users who downloaded the os. Every hiccup, every crash, iphone site delays were reported here. This is never blogged about, never comes on google. My tweets had 1or2 influential bloggers posts too. Twitter has info about your cat and iphone dev.

    I didnt have to search google for iphone os 3.0 at all. There is a huge chance that in future, twitter will grab a % of search results from google. What that % will be, time will tell.

  12. [...] Most Important Web Site Since Google” by Chris Bennett. You Twitter lovers will want to click here to read the original. The core of the write up is that Twitter is a big deal for certain types of [...]

  13. [...] Check out this cool post from Chris Bennett - Twitter, the Most Important Website Since Google? [...]

  14. Sheamus says:

    I agree with most of your points Chris and certainly think Twitter’s search facility is still a long way from being fully realised (by both the masses and big business). In a way the stream we all leave on Twitter tells an enormous amount to advertisers about the things we like and are interested in; Google tapped into this somewhat with Adsense but Twitter could take it further still, and provide really accurate, tailor-made ads that might actually appeal.

    It could be the first step to Minority Report, although like we saw in that film I’d expect some glitches during the teething process. (“Hello Mr. Yukkamoto and welcome back to Facebook!”)

    I think Google will wise-up to this and either implement its own social search or bring something equally revolutionary to the marketplace. Certainly, I think there’s no risk to Google; regular folk will still need regular search.

    And while a real-time, hive-mind search facility is great, you’re still ‘at risk’ from the X number of minds who answer your query. Unless Twitter works out a way to rank these responses by weight (trust, influence, status, etc, all of which are very much in the eye) your results could (and will) be quite poor.

  15. Vderueda says:

    Hello from Spain…. here Twitter is beggining now and althought it hasn´t a great base yet it is growing, however actually on very savvy and tekkis… In my opinion Twitter is the one that at he moment has more space to grow and will surely take the space of Real Time search ( as Chris Bennet has said) not replaceing google but improving this type of search that with google isn´t so well achived. I have an example in last week experience: I have my twitter account since less than one month and engaged ;-), I follow some very interesting people and blogs from US. And also forgot about my RSS reader. Since beggining of March everybody from US began twittering about SXSW. At first I didn´t notice… but then I asked myself “what the hell is that SXSW?”, must be very important”, so I looked first in twitter and really it was one of the words most twittered about… an important issue however I couldn´t find info of what it was exactly,I could have asked but… I preferred to go to Google Search and do it by myself…and there I came through to http://sxsw.com, not only music but interactive conference whow!! very interesing…

    Thanks Chris for sharing your thoughts, I totally agree … cheers… (sorry for my mispellings…)

  16. Excellent analysis! I’ve been finding Twitter to be invaluable for me with regards to not only my business, but also keeping in touch with like-minded individuals as well. It’s a great boon!

  17. [...] Simply put, Twitter is a social networking site where you can follow any number of person’s ever-changing quips on a second-by-second basis. Sound a bit like the facebook news feed? They are not so different. However, Twitter is growing at an incredibly fast pace, leading some to believe they could be the next Google. [...]

  18. I agree about the real-time search information on twitter. It is amazing and unparalleled. This will only increase as the usage of it continues to explode.

    I must say something about the spelling and grammar comment above. Certainly that detracts. Chris has to decide what impact it has on his readers.

    I would not be interested in a relationship with someone who chose to ignore my thoughts because of that. What small-mindedness. ShelleyDelayne, you are only hurting yourself and others by your attitude. Chris isn’t trying to win a journalism award here. He is trying to discuss ideas.

  19. Veronica says:

    Gee, I wish there was a quick link to share this post on Twitter.

  20. [...] is an excerpt from TWITTER, THE MOST IMPORTANT WEBSITE SINCE GOOGLE? by Chris Bennett posted this week on 97th [...]

  21. Ben Lurkin says:

    Increasingly more noise than signal, Twitter is the most overrated Internet property since Friendster.

  22. Chris, you are right on. I don’t know why others misinterpreted you, thinking you feel Twitter will replace teh g00g. Your thoughts are pretty clear and concise.

    Funny how I wound up reading your blog here. I was Twitter searching “Twitter and regulate” to see if there were any comments on the New Government planning to regulate Twitter, since they seem to want to regulate everything else. Will Twitter be able to keep it’s increasing power unchecked?

    Keep on keeping on… -gj aka @acomputerpro

  23. TJ says:

    Twitter has all the depth of 140 characters and complete immersion in the triviality of instant culture. Short, timely, periodic communications clearly have some value, but Twitter hardly is or will remain the only place to do that.

  24. mike says:

    I didn’t get twitter for the longest time but people I respected said: tweet your posts. I see some traffic from twitter. More interestingly is the neat stuff I’ve found like this post. A great piece.

  25. Freddie McKenna says:

    Great post, but I am not so sure I would hire the guy with the 10,000 followers on twitter over the guy (or gal) who doesn’t have a twitter account. OK, the hapless non-twitterer should probably get with the program. However, if the person with the 10,000 stalkers was currently employed, I’d have to ask myself how anyone could spend that much time tweeting and still have time left over to earn the salary I was paying them. I would have a hard time believing all that twittering was work-related. Of course it’s essential to understand the potential of new technologies and familiarize yourself with their use, but I wouldn’t want employees tweeting at their desk on company time any more than I’d want them shopping on ebay or googling a good place to get their dog groomed.

  26. [...] 97thFloor on why Twitter is so important [...]

  27. Interesting post. The Twitter potential definitely rocks and I agree with your conclusion. It is probably not replacing Google, as well as Facebook is not really tackling Google… http://tinyurl.com/cgl966

  28. steve dodd says:

    Excellent points! It’s going to be really interesting to see how this evolves.

  29. steve dodd says:

    Funny thing is, everyone doubted Google when it started up too!

  30. [...] Chris Bennet writes almost the same post I’ve been working on for a while now. I’ll just highlight his major points and then continue on with my thoughts. [...]

  31. MReino says:

    The entire social media scene is akin to a popular club right now – the “it” place to be. It just so happens that Twitter is the VIP room.

  32. allen says:

    One time a few years back i was in line at a starbucks and some marketing guys were in line behind me. One said, “I don’t know what this myspace is but it is very powerful and my interns know how to use it” Shortly thereafter myspace died as a viable social networking site because it got bogged down with advertisers trying to sell things. You guys are going to do the same thing to twitter. so please stop drinking your own cool aide. its not going to be bigger than google.

    Let me put it to you this way. Stop treating all these sites as they come along like each one is some newly discovered advertising miracle tonic when really all they are is yet another snake oil salesman passing through town.

  33. Twitter really has defined the the 2008-2009 period of time in search. Social Media is the next frontier and will become (if it hasn’t already) part of main stream search marketing. It’s amazing to me how many people think that Social Media Marketing is a waste of time.

  34. [...] ponders 97thfloor.com, and you know what, I think they might be on to something. Although I don’t believe for a [...]

  35. [...] Twitter, the Most Important Website Since Google? [...]

  36. [...] Twitter, the Most Important Website Since Google? [...]

  37. Simon says:

    I agree with Chris Bennett
    I don’t see it replacing Google, but just a new way of search things.

  38. Jon Barker says:

    I am writing a paper on Twitter and want to just copy and paste this entire thing and turn it in… Thanks a lot for all the info. I’ll be sure to use it in the paper(And don’t worry, I won’t copy and paste it!)

  39. [...] « Twitter, the Most Important Website Since Google? [...]

  40. troll says:

    “effected,” or “affected”

  41. claye says:

    haha! no. Twitter is great, but it’s just experiencing a lot of buzz right now, same as facebook and myspace in days past. I doubt it will ever rival Facebook, let alone come close to Google’s dominance.

  42. Gary Marlowe says:

    Like so many, you focus almost entirely on short messages and real time search as being Twitter’s key attributes. The site was started as a side project with one intention: to allow people to tell others about their lives, hence the status bar prompt ‘What are you doing?’ The reality is the site has now evolved into something else altogether – witness that most people completely ignore that prompt. Don’t look at Twitter as a social network, it’s much much more than that – it’s a message delivery platform, a link to an audience (what you put out) and a letterbox in (for what you can get back). The most important thing about Twitter is its ability to link to other sites via short URLs. That’s what makes it so much better than any other site, Google included. And what’s most interesting about it is the fact that where it is now has almost nothing to do with Twitter itself, but the ingenuity of its users. It’s biggest danger right now is both its growth rate (seeing the fail whale too often as the site creaks under the burden) and as it continues to grow, ensuring that it remains easy to use for everyone whatever way they want to use it. It will make money, lots of it, premium services will see to that. And remember, whilst it has been going for a couple of years, it’s only really taken off in the last few months (users doubled between February and March 2009) And whilst it may be huge in America, it’s only just beginning here in Europe. By the end of the year it could even be bigger than Facebook, and who knows, by 2012 it could be the dominant site on the internet and most people’s home page.

  43. Chris,

    It’s funny reading your post, because I just finished writing almost similar post myself, different format, but similar tone :)
    I agree with you.

    http://mediasosial.com/socialnetworking/11-different-things-people-use-twitter-for

  44. Robin says:

    Interesting read ! I’m sure that the Twitter Search Engine will be better than the Google one in a few months (or years).

  45. Mandy says:

    I wondered what all the fuss was about Twitter! Who cares what you are doing, eating, what you are participating in?? Reading this article opened my eyes to the potential of Twitter – the fact you can get real time information and real time replies, makes it much more valuable in my option. It will be interesting to see where Twitter is this time next year!

  46. CodeSucker says:

    Great post. I never understood why people where comparing Google to Twitter until reading this.

  47. Wood Door says:

    I think the Twitter is just a most popular web site. It can not compare with Google which is as th most most important role in the history of web development.

  48. People can’t stop talking about twitter lately. I don’t think it even comes close to Google.

  49. Google is the most popular site on the internet. Twitter should not be compared with Google there is no comparison.

  50. Mark says:

    Been using Twitter for some time now and although I agree it’s a great way to keep in touch with friends, business contacts, etc it’s been exploited by ‘web marketers’ bit too much imo.

  51. [...] your business on Twitter with ideas from this post. Make sure you read my more recent, “Is Twitter the Most Important Website Since Google?” as it is more update with newer ideas and thoughts. You can use Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit [...]

  52. Josh says:

    I think the character limit that Twitter imposes may help and hinder Twitter. The short length might force people to think about what they are saying to maximize their message, or it could mean that more gibberish is posted in an MTV cut-cut world. I’d like to think some competition is good for Google…and the rest of us. Great article. Josh

  53. Kyle Richey says:

    Very interesting take on Twitter and its effects on the Search realm.

    There will (probably) always be a need for Google, though it will evolve constantly. That said, hopefully the Big G can get some pointers from the benefits of services such as Twitter, and follow through with their plans to make the SERP’s based more on real people’s opinions…in real time, like Twitter.

  54. Great roundup on Twitter, I have been very hesitating of using the service, but I am starting to see some clear advantages, especially for networking. I have recently deleted my Facebook, now only using linked in, I will take another look on twitter.

  55. ixod says:

    Yes it is true that Google is currently the most important website on the internet. Without the use of Google as search engine we cannot search the social networking site like Facebook and Twitter.

  56. Nick says:

    I still haven’t began using Twitter, and I don’t know why. I always hear about people using it, and what it can do, but I guess it’s one of those things you have to experience.

  57. hampry says:

    Nice the blog post.It is true twitter is most improved in google search.

  58. When I think about the internet, first thing that come to my mind is google. I can find almost everything I need in here. But it’s undeniable how twitter could occupy a room as a site.

  59. [...] Twitter, the Most Important Website Since Google (97th Floor): Yes, Twitter is that important. Chris Bennett features some great parallels in his article. [...]

  60. Twitter is great, but the Internet is still developing and I’m sure that in a year or two Twitter will become the establishment and there will be another new creation that we are all addicted to.

    The Internet cannot stand still or it will die.

  61. Lenny says:

    I wish I could make my customers (and potential customers) understand some of this stuff a bit better – people are very reluctant to put time (and in my case money) into developing their Twitter presence and participation.

  62. Twitter is a powerful Traffic Generation tool. Off late I have seen Twitter Links getting more Search Engine Authority.

  63. Shawn says:

    Great insight especially since this was written last yr. Twitter is huge now, the thing is there are quite a few Hiphop stars pulling out of Twitter like Kid Cudi, and Lil Wayne. Some people think Twitter is dieing, I don’t believe that is true. The only knock I have on Twitter is the spam I get via DM
    Take care

  64. Michelle says:

    Another important Twitter trend making waves is the capacity of making and receiving payments through the Paypal Adaptive Payment Platform. You can also use your Twitter account to make and receive payments through Twitter. This is very important for ecommerce websites as they can now sell their products or services easily and directly through this medium.

  65. Ryan Sammut says:

    I would still prefer Facebook rather than Twitter, that’s the way it is in my Country. However I believe twitter has lots of potential, possible even more than facebook.

  66. Twitter is certainly very much in the limelight at the moment but I can’t see it ever being as influential as Google.

  67. Twitter has gained hugely in popularity but will never be as big as Google……….

  68. SEO Whiz Kid says:

    Yeah i have to agree that Twitter is a big thing now. I think that Twitter gives you the most valuable no-follow links from anywhere on the web.

  69. [...] Bennett from 97th Floor explained it really well in his blog post here about Twitter bring the most important website since Google. He said: “Anything I need to know [...]

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