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Three ways Twitter Habits Will Evolve

by Frank Strong

Three ways Twitter Habits Will Evolve

Much has been written about how Twitter will change the world, but I also believe personal Twitter – specific habits will evolve. As new technologies are incorporated into everyday life, there tends to be a period of normalization that serves to refine the way we use tools to communicate, eliminate misunderstanding and avoiding a Twitter faux pas.

1. Tweets will reflect more relevancy. Relatively idle tweets, such as my “Internet is down” or “Comcast sucks” — information-less blather – will give way to more relevant topics. Recall that when e-mail first exploded, users were prone to forward every silly cartoon, picture or video — or hit “reply all” to every mass-message. Today, that sort of e-mail is commonly thought of as bordering on spam. Overwhelmed by the deluge, e-mail etiquette soon evolved and became a generally accepted practice – and we are starting to see a similar evolution with social media policies.

Anyone who’s been on Twitter for a while can see how quickly the list of people you are following can grow to unmanageable proportions, which means sooner or later, people will become more inclined to be selective about the people they choose to follow.

2. Silly Twitter names will go. Once upon a time it might have been cool to have a silly e-mail address. I once had a friend in college that actually had an address at catcowdog@genericISP.com. That might have been good for a laugh then, but once he hit the workforce it gets embarrassing. So too will it go with Twitter names.

The most ridiculous Twitter accounts will give way to useful and accurate descriptions: @ACME_CEO, @ACME_support, or perhaps even real names. I tend to favor real names because it helps personify the Twitter user — after all social media is about dialogue and personality certainly has a role to play in that.

3. Twitter features will follow professionalism. New features like enhanced search functionality and the aggregation of Twitter topics are currently taking shape, but there’s still plenty of room for improvement. For example, as Twitter becomes more professional in nature, so too will the requirement for features. In-post spell check, like Google’s Web browser Chrome provides will be the norm. One of the most fascinating phenomena of new technology is that it is often applied in ways never imagined.

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How do you think Twitter habits will evolve?

Photo credit:  Flickr, Andreas Eldh (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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1 Response

  1. Kevin

    I think this is a great post, but I think if anything, this channel is going to continue to empower more people to take more ownership of what and how frequently they post.

    For every top 10 list of rules on how to use Twitter, there are 10,000 different uses of Twitter, all valid. I don't want to see the "I'm headed out to lunch" or "I'm feeling sick" kinds of posts go away, because that is the information I can't get anywhere else except with those people in the room.

    Unlike email—where those cute pictures of duckies are forced upon you—Twitter is all about the power to unfollow, filter out, or otherwise ignore the information you don't want. If someone posts too many self-promoting tweets, for example, I've always got the right to stop following them. If someone doesn't like that I let my family know when I'm catching a bus home, they hold that same power.

    Twitter can be all things to all people because it lets you see (mostly) just as much as you can tolerate.

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