This One is for the Birds: Twitter at 7 Years Old

Science and Tech


For those who don't know or rather dismiss cultural milestones that have anything to do with social media, the blue birdy network known as Twitter just turned 7 years old.


In dog years that equates to 49.


I use the metaphor of dog years because in the break neck speed of technology, social fatigue, and years lost refreshing and scrolling, 7 years can feel a whole lot like 49. 


If we took this metaphor a step further, a lot of this dog years stuff makes quite a bit of sense when we shed a light on Twitter's counterparts, i.e. the Googles and FBs.


Google being the oldest would be dead (according to teeny bopper metrics it already is) and Facebook as the rapidly deteriorating middle child would be in a nursing home.


As the youngest of the power three, Twitter by certain accounts, arguably appears to have aged gracefully by comparison to its siblings. 


Introduced foremost to the world as an information aggregator, it's become a communicative essential; and as a marketing platform conceivably more malleable than the cluttered ethos that now constricts Facebook.


7 years ago Twitter focused on the public need of dissemination.


Slowly it made hashtags cultural staples, and @ signs the go-to symbols for contacting people and companies. 


It was an open party, but it was one always built for a wider audience. 


By contrast, FB and Google came up as niche communities, the former built at first on a network of collegiate students, the latter on people who strictly yearned for an efficient Internet search and a better e-mail alternative to Hotmail.


Their struggles with capturing social networking are well-documented and in a fickle mobile marketplace where people go with what's cool, Twitter has survived those pitfalls because it remains based on the principles of offering a fundamental human service rather than cheap thrills. 


Biz's bird child isn’t perfect, but in its middle age it seemingly has more fight rather flight, gracefully remaining relevant in a space where what you did 1 minute ago can seem like a light year. 



Follow Anthony on Twitter: @antbrent



internet, Social Media