Facebook, Twitter Usage Falling
Somewhere in June, however, Twitter stopped growing, at least according to Compete. The same thing happened to Facebook at the exact same time; at first we’ve attributed the traffic numbers to the summer slumber, but now that Compete’s numbers for September are out, there’s no doubt that both Facebook and Twitter are no longer growing, at least in the eyes of the (admittedly US-centric) Compete.
Big deal? Maybe not for Facebook, which, as Schroeder notes, is already pretty huge. Maturity happens.
Twitter, though, is another story. It has cracked the national consciousness in a big way, but not yet in a good way, necessarily. You could even argue that the Twitter backlash today is stronger and more rooted in reality than the Twitter backlash of early 2009.
Twitter used to be fairly misunderstood as a way for people to tell their friends what they had for breakfast. Now they understand that it’s also a way for Miley Cyrus to get too much attention, Jim DeMint to destroy his mainstream credibility and Antonio Cromartie to complain about the food at Chargers’ training camp.
You’d think this is a good thing, but it’s not. People like to lurk and stalk their favorite celebrities at a safe distance, but it doesn’t mean they want to emulate their every pratfall and disgrace. And while Twitter allows zealots to echo the quips of their political heroes, most of us are simply more and more turned off and tuned out to the ravings of the lunatic fringe.
Companies are just now beginning to understand the value of social media (like Twitter) as a way of listening to and communicating with their customers, and that too is leading savvy consumers to keep away from yet another corporate listening post. The same may not hold true for Facebook, but maybe that’s because Facebook really is a way to communicate with friends meaningfully.
With Facebook, my status update hangs around a bit; I see comments to the comments I make to my friends’ status updates; I can play games, and chat. Twitter doesn’t have those features. Shouting may be getting old. Anyway let’s hope so.
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