This post addresses a question Iâ€™ve been thinking about for quite a few weeks â€“ in fact, every time a news report or stats about Twitter are published somewhere â€“ and talks to specific points made by quite a few people, bloggers and journalists alike, in the past week.
The question is: Is Twitter just so much hype? That question seems to be popping up a great deal in the past few days after the Kutcher/CNN popularity contest in the US and Oprah came on board.
Even if Twitter is just a load of hype â€“ and I think itâ€™s not â€“ where on the hype cycle would it sit anyway?
My view â€“ itâ€™s right at the peak of inflated expectations as the adapted Gartner Hype Cycle chart above indicates.
Where do you see Twitter?
Incidentally, one of the best opinions Iâ€™ve seen on this broad topic came yesterday in a post by Don Dodge:
[â€¦] The point is, we donâ€™t really know yet all the ways Twitter can be used, and the most effective way to monetize its huge and fast growing social network. It is clear that Twitter is more than just a passing fad. Yes, the technology can be easily replicated, but, the audience cannot. Social networks are all about connecting people and letting them communicate. It is the power of the networkâ€¦not the technology.
In a post last week, Raskino said:
[â€¦] Remember the innovation is microblogging (and there are competitors) – so letâ€™s forget the company name for a moment. This technology innovation example is particularly interesting because the technology is of direct relevance to journalists and media people in their own jobs. So naturally they will discuss it more and the situation is unusually amplified. As they compete for audience attention we will tend to see more extreme hyperbole and backlash. That helps make this innovation a particularly clear reference example, as it passes through the early stages of the Hype Cycle.
So Twitter at the peak of inflated expectations looks about the right place at the moment.
The really interesting question is: How quickly will it slide down into and then out of the trough of disillusionment?
Looking forward to a Gartner prediction in the 2009 hype cycle, expected in July.