Most general purpose online services start as tech biased. After all, early adopters on the internet are the tech-savvy crowd, so sites such as Digg (
) or Twitter (
) inevitably start out overcrowded by tech-related topics, as well as detailed examinations of the site’s own technical intricacies and issues.
If a site breaks it to the mainstream, things change. Digg admins have put in a lot of effort to remove the tech bias, and now Digg is truly a general purpose news site. On Twitter, however, things seem to be moving in a different direction.
The average Twitter user doesn’t seem to be obsessed with Twitter’s server failures or the latest gadgetry (topics such as these overwhelmed the early days of Twitter). Nope, the majority of Twitter users are talking about the latest cinema/TV premiere or sporting event.
One can easily notice this by following the recurring Twitter trends. At this moment, some of the trends are District 9, Inglorious Basterds (movie premieres) and True Blood, Miss Venezuela, and Miss Universe 2009 (TV series & events). This trend has been increasingly noticeable in the last couple of months: with Twitter truly hitting the mainstream, it reflects the views and interests of a very broad audience; an audience that is primarily interested in entertainment (at least in the absence of a major news event).
It is also noticeable in the list of top Twitter users on Twitterholic. Once populated solely by tech figures, today it’s the A-list of Hollywood celebrities. On Twitter, real-world fame has overtaken online fame, and no techie will be able to overtake Ashton Kutcher when it comes to number of followers.
Is this a bad thing? Not really; with such a wide audience, it’s only logical that Twitter’s trending topics reflect the topics seen on, for example, the front page of Yahoo.com or the cover of Entertainment Weekly. But, as its audience grows, Twitter will need to somehow make sure that all topics are equally represented in the trends, otherwise it’ll always alienate a portion of its users.
In this great piece by Stan Schroeder for Mashable… the tipping point is quite evident. Twitter is now a true force in entertainment. Watch this #entsm (entertainment social media) momentum pick up as we enter the holiday season, as the economy eventually kicks in, as social media matures and as the masses take to the twitter (and all social media) community.
Discuss the Twitter Effect and other key topics at the weekly #entsm Tweetchat, Tuesdays, 8PM PDT
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