Twitter Feeling Less Chirpy: The Migration is Well Underway?

Despite the fact that there must have been a chorus of “hosannas” when Jon Stewart briefly referenced them on The Daily Show the other night, the folks at Twitter might not be feeling too chipper (or chirpy) at the moment.

Over on FriendFeed as of late, amongst many of the early adopters and A-listers, much of the discussion has been about leaving Twitter.

Alas, microblogging service, they just can quit you.

The Early (Adopter) Warning Signs

It’s not like anyone missed the signs that this was coming. Citing FriendFeed once again– mostly because that’s where the flock with foresight have flown –there have been innumerable posts about Twitter’s status noting whether it was up, whether tweets were vanishing into the ether or whether it was so down that nothing was happening and even the fail whale was too ashamed to make an apologetic appearance.

But What About Those Who Came Into the Conversation Late?

As a recent but really curious newcomer to social media, it’s been fascinating to actually watch the adoption curve of the trend in action. Because just as the earlies are flying off for more hospitable climates, there are many late adopters who are using Twitter and enjoying the process. For example, it has been a way for classmates to keep each other apprised of cancellations and summarize the substance of classes missed.

Personally, Twitter and I had more of a flirtation than a love affair. I only gave it a whirl (or twhirl?) for a few months before leaving it last week.

I didn’t like the fact that its concise nature seemed to encourage or even crystallize narcissism in some cases, or that you couldn’t really place a conversation in context.

That’s one of the things I like about FriendFeed. You can get the whole conversation and its offshoots in one spot. It often makes for fascinating reading as well as engaging participation.

What Does This Mean For Twitter- and for Its Users?

Poor Twitter – you can’t help feeling sorry for the former favourite. Especially as the disappointed and displeased word-of-mouth by former influential fans has spread in intensity and scale faster than a nasty virus at a preschool.

Is Twitter doomed? Or has it merely lost the favour of the tech elite? Is the mainstream still using the microblogging service – or are they leaving in droves also? And where are they going- Jaiku? Plurk? FriendFeed?

I know my chirping days are over but what about you: Will you continue to tweet? And if you do, will there be anyone to answer back at this point?

And if you were Twitter- how would you handle this increasingly dire situation?


14 comments so far

  1. Mike Bekiaris on

    I was thinking the same thing yesterday. I’ve seen the beginning and end of different projects and I’m surprised users haven’t moved to something else yet, myself. Is it because people feel attached to all the followers and followees? You and I have set up enough users in the past month for all these services that I am definitely not attached quite yet. I’m curious what will happen with Jaiku once Google opens it back up. At least Google has the reliability track record.

  2. Myra on

    If I were Twitter, I’d try to sell my company to Microsoft right now. Looks like all the world’s a Twitter Quitter.

  3. abbymartin on

    Mike B.

    I think you hit the nail on the head. Some of the comments on FF are along the lines of “But I have so many followers on Twitter” and apparently it isn’t that easy to transfer them over.

    I’m very curious about Jaiku too. I don’t love Plurk. I find the headless animals creepy and the UI not so hot. But that’s me and I don’t think I am their desired demographic anyway. (Have you tried Plurk? I’d be curious for your thoughts on it vs. Twitter if you have.)

    Thank you for another well-reasoned, concise comment! Much appreciated.

  4. Michael Bekiaris on
  5. Michael Bekiaris on

    I haven’t tried Plurk or Pownce yet. I probably should get on both just to see them.

  6. abbymartin on

    Mike B.

    One- thanks for the kind words- as soon as I finish this I am heading right to your blog to read your post. I always find a silent i a great read.

    Please let me know when you do try Plurk and/or Pownce- I really want to know what you think. For me- Plurk- meh. Pownce I need to try. Jaiku too.

  7. Ironic on

    This is very typical. The hipster and tech world will use something until it gets overly popular. Once everyone who “isn’t cool” starts doing it, it’s over.
    Examples: Blogs. Then your grandma got one, so Myspace/Facebook…then your dad does it, so you went to Twitter. On and on it goes.
    Something new will come. Many of those who started on Facebook are moving to LinkedIN (which I don’t get).
    Muxtape still hasn’t blown up, but it will, so everyone will stop using it.
    That’s the way it is. When it’s not what the masses do, everyone wants it. When everyone does it, no one wants it.
    It’s why Nintendo is REALLY holding back the WII.

  8. abbymartin on

    Hey Ironic.

    ‘Tis true. (And though blogs may not be hip, I still have one and I’ll keep writing. Last of the dodos- that’s me.)

    The reason people are moving from Facebook to Linked In has to do with difference in overall purpose. You have a grown-up, respectable and polished LinkedIn profile to show employers so that they don’t look at your Facebook and see you have all sorts of drink applications, photos of you dancing on tables, etc. (Mind you, I don’t because I am old and boring- by “you” I mean younger people without kids.) Facebook remains your social network while LinkedIn is your business social network.

    I will check out Muxtape.

    BTW- I am not sure Twitter is over. The tech elites are done with it, but so many late adopters are getting into it that it may be far from over.

    I’m just sick of the Fail Whale.


  9. Monica on

    Hey Abby,

    I totally agree with you. Who has time to constantly update what they are doing on Twitter, or have the time to sort through all the feeds from friends?

    But it does depend on who is using Twitter and how you use it. If you are trying to network or gain new clients. Use it. If you are trying to improve on customer service. Use it.

    Sometimes, finding out news on Twitter is a lot faster than finding out news on television. Most news networks have their own Twitter sites.

    So in summation, I wouldn’t rule out Twitter just yet. Just use it sparringly.

  10. abbymartin on


    Thank you so much for the comment- and welcome aboard!

    Maybe you have a point- maybe it should be all good things in moderation?

    And you are certainly right that it can be much, much faster getting news on Twitter- though you have to be sure it is real. (There was that rumour taken as fact that ran rampant in the Twitterverse the other day that Jared from Subway was dead- only he wasn’t.)

    I am curious though- how would you use Twitter to network? I would love to know your thoughts on that!


  11. iamacamara on

    Perhaps it’s more of an introductory medium – social media ‘lite’. Tweet loud and lots until you have enough followers and then choose with whom to actually converse. Once you start a conversation with a like-minded person, you don’t need to tweet with them. You move on to the harder stuff: vlogging, Second Life and such.

    Can’t stand the mass inanity. I enjoy the challenge of coming up with something good to say.

    Love your blog, Ab.

  12. abbymartin on


    Nice to see you here. Thank you for the comment.

    Tend to agree with you about the current state of Twitter alas. Inanity and some insanity. Check out friendfeed- yes, you get the odd pictures of bunnies with pancakes on their heads (seriously- but seriously cute) but depending on whom you subscribe to, you can also learn a lot_ there are some wise and fascinating people there. (and no, they are not paying me.)

    Thank you for the kind words- coming from a writer of your calibre, that is a huge compliment indeed!


  13. thatsroger on

    Thanks for posting the Jon Stewart clip Abby. I tried to search for it when I heard he mentioned Twitter but didn’t find it.

    Despite the technical issues, I really like the idea of Twitter. I’m still not used to FriendFeed and I don’t like how it shows me ‘friends of friends’. It’s nice that they think that I care, but I don’t really. If I want to click on a page that shows my friends, I would like to see just them. I haven’t figured out how to turn off that setting.

  14. abbymartin on


    Thanks for the comment!

    I like the idea of Twitter too but I hate the actual execution. That’s the problem. I’m hoping maybe Jaiku or Pownce will step up and become a viable alternative. (Or maybe which is Canadian and open source- Yay!)

    As for FF- you can hide the friend of a friend by clicking the “hide” option under a comment made by a friend of a friend. One of the option it will give you is something like hiding all comments by friends of friends. Click yes and you’ll be spared some serious visual spam. Hope that helps!


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