Marcia Connor (@marciamarcia) pointed me at this blog article -> “5 Reasons Teens Don’t Like Twitter.” It’s the blogger’s first article ever, and I don’t agree with all of the points, but it’s an interesting premise, so let’s dive into it. Why would teens (or anybody for that reason) not like Twitter?From the article:
Less Customization. Yea sure, you can add a few backgrounds and change a couple of fonts; but Twitters ability to customize is nothing compared to Myspace or even Facebook.
[Sky] This is totally on target. If you think back to your first encounter with MySpace (if you indeed had such an encounter) you remember the wild abandon with which people customized their MySpace pages. It was like the wall of your teenage bedroom. (I drew on my wall with magic marker – a desert scene with dunes and a camel caravan all around the room.) So, yes you can’t customize your Twitter page much at all (a single photo) and comeon (!), Twitter isn’t really a web experience – it’s about texting!
Why Not Text. Pretty much, twitter is just another texting platform. You’re sending out mass texts to all your friends online. Thats cool, but why not just use your new Blackberry to do that
[Sky] Yes, totally! That is the point — Twitter is TXT. The real point of Twitter is that it is real-time. Facebook and MySpace, even though they have feeds, are not fundamentally real-time TXT platforms. Now, I will say that my buddies use Facebook all the time to post photos and share them, pretty much in real time, and I like Facebook much much much more because of this. But what the blogger missed is that plain TXT to your friends is not a group experience, while Twitter is a group TXTing experience! That’s the whole point. You and your followers are participating in a real-time group TXT experience.
Applications. Facebook and Myspace are filled with all these cool applications teens love, as well as the ability to post countless videos, pictures, and other fun things.
[Sky] Can’t deny it. Facebook is a really rich environment within itself, while on the other hand Twitter is just TXT — except that this is changing daily as new sites are springing up that use the Twitter RSS feed and pull that information together in new ways. As a software architect, I would point out that this is simply a different architecture – the result can be similar.
Social. In myspace and face book, teens join groups, whether its related to their school, a musical association, or other interest. Twitter doesn’t have that ability for social connections – on twitter, you simply follow or you don’t. Teens like the feeling of cliques and groups, and they like meeting new people without finding out everything they do.
[Sky] I don’t get it, sorry. You can set up your Twitter account so that people need you permission to follow you. If you do that, then you effectively have a group. So what’s the difference? (The difference is that you have to actually do it.)
Time. Teens aren’t yet in need of a “professional” platform to display their thoughts. Teens are short in time, and the addition of a Twitter account just takes up more of their time. So rather than waste time, they’re content with texting, facebook, and myspace.
[Sky] This is BS. Twitter can be connected to Facebook so that you only have to post one place. It takes no more time to use Twitter than to use Facebook. But, this does point out that teens are as likely as anybody else to be resistant to new popular products — if they see Twitter as just another platform that wastes their time, then they won’t use it. I use Twitter a lot and actually much more than I use Facebook. It’s easy, streamlined, and single-purpose. Maybe I’m more open to innovation than teens are…?