Casey Flanagan

Tweet, tweet. Babble, babble. Fundamental change.

Force of nature? 2.0 flavor of the month? Twitter is either the most important communications tool ever imagined or the predictable end of increasingly annoying presence-casting.

A post to gizmodo.com illustrates that only 5% of Twitterers have more than 100 followers. Quantcast.com reports that only 1% of Twitter users account for 35% of its visits. And an oft-cited study out this month from Pear Analytics, cites proprietary research that over 40% of tweets are “pointless babble.”

Try telling the airline industry that Twitter doesn’t matter. Or the makers of Bruno that Twitter isn’t “sticky.”

The numbers, though accurate and interesting, miss the point. And the story is in danger of getting lost.

Two things: First, a recent report from eMarketer shows that 62% of U.S. internet users go online to opine. (Full disclosure, I had to look that up. It means “to hold and state as one’s opinion.”) Twitter is one more tool your consumer can use to do that. And it is one more tool that is evolving and becoming more searchable and sharable by the day. Second, the way people consume media is changing. And Twitter allows for really specific, real time updates on content that matters to you. That’s value. My #followfriday? @kopps.

Will Twitter will be around next year or will we have moved on to the next big thing? I hope it’s the former, as I’m a huge fan of the service. But, for marketers, it matters less. Because the way it has fundamentally changed our behavior most definitely will be here to stay. So whether it’s Twitter – or something else – our approach can’t stay the same.

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