Real Time Twitter Updates? Why? Bizarre to Bizarro


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So, what’s the business/product strategy.

1) Build a platform/product that has almost no actual functional use for most people by building in limits to what can be done.

2) Get lots of venture capital and do lots of buzz building.

3) Use a cute name, a cute logo, and simply be cute.

4) As growth slows, get MORE venture capital, announce ridiculous growth projections, build a new data center, and add MORE features in the bigger, faster arena and do it in ways that render the product even MORE useless!

5) Celebrate.

Is this Twitter?

Twitter recently unveiled it’s ability to stream tweets in what they call “real time”. I’m not sure how that can be absolutely and technically true unless tweets are distributed before they are written, but truth in advertising isn’t a strong principle of social media. So, now, if you use a Twitter client like Tweedeck, you can sit and watch thousands of tweets flow down your screen at a speed at which it is impossible to read.

Pretty cool. We can communicate ever so efficiently if we don’t actually have to read, absorb, think about and respond to messages from other people, and Twitter has done away with the need to actually read the tweet content. Not that anyone does read the content. According to recent research 92% of tweets provoke no behavior from readers (no replies, DM’, RT), so this innovation should result in driving that number to almost 100%.

It’s Zen. It’s Tao. The perfect empty vessel. And nobody notices.

Help Us Out

So, what’s the point? Who NEEDS real time updates? Do we need or even how can we use a feature that renders reading tweets almost impossible? I understand that in Tweetdeck you can turn it off, but why is it there in anyway? What is sent on Twitter in real time that can’t be sent a few short seconds or even a minute later? What’s so important?

It’s not like Twitter is chocked full of content critical to the survival of the world as we know it.


…but yet. A nefarious idea to raise revenue by highlighting any present or current advertising? Ah. It might be. One of the problems with social media ads is that people are there to read content, and not ads. If you can shift attention away from the content, even a little bit, your payoff (for ad sales) could end up in the millions for just a small tweak. Is that the method behind this crazy feature? To shift attention away from the tweets by making people dizzy?

It’s like making the commercials on radio and TV louder than the program, a technique long used in broadcasting..

Well, who knows. Maybe Twitter, but I doubt they are telling. For me though, it’s another Twitter example of trying to add things to a severely limited feature set that became popular BECAUSE of it’s severely limited feature set. Guys, it won’t work.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Robert Bacal
Robert began his career as an educator and trainer at the age of twenty (which is over 30 years ago!), as a teaching assistant at Concordia University. Since then he as trained teachers for the college and high school level, taught at several universities and trained thousands of employees and managers in customer service, conflict management and performance appraisal and performance management skills.


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